The Independent, in a companion article to their frontpage story about bugging MPs phones and emails, mentioned an obscure Ministerial Statement published on 15th December 2005:
The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): The Government have received advice from the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir. Swinton Thomas, on the possible implications for the Wilson Doctrine of the regulatory framework for the interception of communications, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
The Government are considering that advice. I shall inform Parliament of the outcome at the earliest opportunity.
If you want to write to the equally obscure SIr Swinton Thomas, the Interception Commissioner, to see if your phone conversations or emails or faxes with your Member of Parliament in Westminster, or your Member of the Scottish Parliament, are currently being illegally intercepted his address is:
The Right Honourable Sir Swinton Thomas,
The Interception of Communications Commissioner,
c/o The Home Office,
2 Marsham Street,
(no phone,no fax, no email, no website)
You can read his latest annual (censored) report online: Annual Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2004 (.pdf) which was submitted to the Prime Minister in July 2005 (but kept secret until November), which does not mention the Wilson Doctrine.
Therefore, between July and December, did Sir Swinton Thomas have to make a decision involving the interception of the electronic communications of one or more Members of Parliament ?
We might try a Freedom of Information Act request to see if this is the case, obviously with no expectation of the details of individual cases. The Office of the Inteception Commissioner must surely count as a "Public body" under the Freedom of Information Act, and, since it is not a Central Government Department, the exemptions about "formulation of Government policy" should not apply, and there is an obvious public interest in knowing whether or not Members of Parliament's communications with their consituents are being intercepted or not.