Brian Sims
Editor

Lord Anderson appointed to review Investigatory Powers Act

HOME SECRETARY Suella Braverman has appointed Lord (David) Anderson KBE KC to conduct a full and thorough independent review of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The Investigatory Powers Act provides a framework for the use of investigatory powers by the security and intelligence agencies, law enforcement and other public authorities.

Photo: Roger Harris - https://members.parliament.uk/member/4705/portrait, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126254976
Photo: Roger Harris - https://members.parliament.uk/member/4705/portrait, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126254976

The powers involved cover the interception of communications, the retention and acquisition of communications data and equipment interference for obtaining communications and other data.

The Investigatory Powers Act also makes provision relating to the security and intelligence agencies’ retention and examination of bulk personal data sets. The effective operation of the Act ensures that there’s appropriate oversight in place to give the public confidence in the use of these important powers.

Section 260 of the Investigatory Powers Act requires that the Secretary of State prepare a report on the operation of the Act during a six-month period between May 2022 and November 2022. This report will be published and laid in Parliament in due course.

Lord Anderson previously held the post of Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation for six years, during which time he carried out two independent reviews. These reviews informed the original Act of Parliament.

Importantly, Lord Anderson’s review will be entirely independent from the Home Secretary’s statutory report and assess the case for legislative change, either now or in the future. The review will focus in particular on the effectiveness of the bulk personal data set regime, criteria for obtaining Internet connection records, the suitability of certain definitions within the Act and the resilience and agility of warranty processes and the oversight regime.

Lord Anderson will carry out his own consultation with law enforcement, the intelligence agencies and wider public authorities, as well as other external organisations and individuals with an interest in this work.

Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE KC is a barrister at the Brick Court Chambers in London. He reported on investigatory powers in ‘A Question of Trust’ (2015) and ‘Bulk Powers Review’ (2016). In 2018, he was knighted for services to national security and civil liberties and appointed to the House of Lords, where he presently sits as an independent cross-bench peer.

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