This Monday 19th June, the House of Lords is set to rubber stamp a couple of Draft Statutory Instruments relating to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
Former Appeal Court Judge Sir Charles Mantell has been appointed as a Surveillance Commissioner by the Prime Minister from 1st July 2006 until 30th June 2009. See the Office of Surveillance Commissioners website for details of what they do under RIPA etc.
The Draft Statutory Instruments:
- The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Additional Functions and Amendment) Order 2006
This reflects a couple of name changes e.g.
the name change from "Commissioners of Customs and Excise" and the "Commissioners of Inland Revenue" to "The Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs" and adds about a dozen new types of official to the list people who are authorised to request Communications Traffic Data i.e. itemised phone bills, subscriber details, internet log files etc.
- The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Directed Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources) (Amendment) Order 2006
This adds a few more officials to the list of those who can authorise Directed Surveillance i.e. the classic police "stakeout" or the use of Informers to gather evidence. e.g. the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Gambling Commission.
Amazingly, some officials and quangos have been removed from the list, including the "Chief Egg Marketing Inspector in Egg Marketing Inspectorate" and the "Regional Horticultural Marketing Inspector in Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate;"
One has to question why such bodies were given this immense power in the first place.