FW: Changes to Councils' RIPA Powers

Richard Clayton richard at highwayman.com
Thu Jan 27 15:15:43 GMT 2011

In article <xqwVIxCvjTQNFAro at perry.co.uk>, Roland Perry <lists at internetp
olicyagency.com> writes

>On the other hand, acquiring comms data *is* a power. Are they proposing 
>to amend all the "other powers" (for example contained in various 
>anti-fraud legislation) to make it clear they can't be used for comms 
>data. Currently, as I understand it, the use of "other powers" (for 
>comms data) is deprecated by the Home Office and CSPs, but maybe local 
>authorities still try to use them?

You may recall, from one of the LSE meetings, a discussion of the
Department of Work & Pensions -- which does have powers (many legacy,
others in the Social Security Fraud Act) to access comms data (which,
for a conceptual example, they could in an attempt to prove
cohabitation) and that they had refused Simon's (ie the Home Office's)
requests to defer to a RIPA regime instead.

Seems that the HO is going to try again -- albeit the wording in this
part of the report

    Based on this assessment, the review recommends that:
        i. Government departments, agencies, regulatory authorities and
        CSPs should be consulted to establish the range of non-RIPA
        legislative frameworks by which communications data can in
        principle be acquired from CSPs, and for what purposes. This
        consultation is currently taking place.
        ii. These legal frameworks should then be streamlined to ensure
        that as far as possible RIPA is the only mechanism by which
        communications data can be acquired.

contains the weasel words "as far as possible" which presumably is there
in case the DWP wins this round as well!

The other example which the report mentions is the Financial Services
and Markets Act... IIRC, the owners of these acts argue that since they
postdate RIPA, Parliament intended them to be a law unto themselves!

richard                                                   Richard Clayton

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary 
Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin 11 Nov 1755
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