home  about  email
Home Office Draft Statutory Instruments

16 September 2003

The Home Office released five draft Statutory Instruments within the last week. These are pieces of "secondary legislation" that implement parts of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act 2000, released as a result of the consultation they held, earlier this year into the withdrawn "Snoopers Charter". Our response to that consultation is on this site as a 130kb Word doc and we're still thinking about the new Orders themselves.

As the HMSO seems to be taking its time making HTML versions of these Word docs, Simon Watkin, at the Home Office, offered to mail the Word documents to anyone who wanted them, so we offered to put them on this site for people to download. Here they are, with the descriptions from Simon Watkins' mail to UK Crypto on the subject.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) Order 2003
This single Order brings within the regulatory regime of RIPA public authorities using communications data now without any regulation. Unlike the Order withdrawn last summer public authorities will be clearly restricted as to what data they can access and the purposes for which they can access data. It follows from the consultation earlier this year.
Retention of Communications Data (Code of Practice) Order 2003
This Order seeks approval of the code of practice for voluntary data retention consulted upon earlier this year. Industry has very made clear that — if there is to be data retention — a voluntary regime does not provide the degree of legal certainty it requires and — if there is to be data retention — a mandatory regime would provide a greater and more acceptable degree of legal certainty for industry but ATCSA requires a voluntary regime before a mandatory one.
Retention of Communications Data (Extension of Period) Order 2003
This Order extends the sunset clause and would permit the Home Secretary to give direction for retention of data after 13 December 2003. By that time it is unlikely a voluntary regime will have been in place long enough to take an informed view on its success (or failure).
Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Directed Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources) Order 2003
This Order brings within the regulatory regime of RIPA public authorities already undertaking directed surveillance activity and for the first time restricts the purposes for which any public authority can undertake directed surveillance activity.
Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Intrusive Surveillance) Order 2003
This Order provides for the Northern Ireland Prison Service to undertake intrusive surveillance in cells primarily in relation to hostage taking incidents.

It's worth noting that Simon also mentioned:

The draft Orders should appear on the Parliament and HMSO Legislation websites soon, and once there a link will be made to them from the Home Office website. The summaries of responses to the access and retention consultation papers are on the Home Office website now at: