Investigatory Powers Bill: bulk-data gathering must uphold "both privacy and security".

02 June 2016

Government wants bill to become law by the end of 2016


The Human Rights Committee has welcomed the Investigatory Powers Bill as a "significant step forward" in human rights terms but says that more safeguards are needed.

According to the BBC, MPs and Peers have said that powers which allow UK security services to collect large volumes of personal data are not "inherently incompatible" with privacy laws.

The Investigatory Powers Bill aims to put a firmer legal footing on the collection of vast quantities of internet data in the UK by the security services, as well as personal details held on databases.

Home Secretary Theresa May says these so-called bulk data gathering powers have played a significant role in every major counter-terrorism investigation over the past decade.

But civil liberties groups have raised concerns about privacy.

The government has already had to significantly amend its proposals after a draft bill last year was heavily criticised by three parliamentary committees. The legislation is set to return to the Commons on Monday (6 June) for further scrutiny, and the government wants it to become law by the end of year.

On the human rights implications of the bill, the committee welcomed steps towards providing "a clear and transparent legal basis" for the investigatory powers being used by security and intelligence agencies.

But it said improvements could be made "to enhance further the compatibility of the legal framework with human rights".

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