The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, today published his Report of the Bulk Powers Review. A review called for by the Labour Party as part of their concern about the Investigatory Powers Bill.
The report presents the most detailed examination of the bulk powers and how they are used, or are planned to be used by the Intelligence Agencies: GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.
Mr Anderson’s overarching conclusion is that there is “a proven operational case for three of the bulk powers, and that there is a distinct (though not yet proven) operational case for bulk equipment interference.”
His one recommendation, for the introduction of a Technical Advisory Panel, is for a panel of independent technical experts which he suggests is separate from Government, the Intelligence Agencies and the Civil Service. The intention of which will be for them to oversee and advise on the technology changes which will undoubtedly impact and affect the Bill over coming years.
It is worth noting that Mr Anderson’s brief did not require him to look at the Bill’s safeguards; an area we have chosen to focus a great deal of our efforts on. Although we are profoundly disappointed by the report’s enthusiasm for the continued use, and indeed expansion of bulk powers, our campaign for the strongest safeguards possible will continue, in order to ensure that the law provides a real balance of privacy and security.
If you wish to read the report it can be found here: https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Bulk-Powers-Review-final-report.pdf