Investigatory Powers Act 2016/Bill proceedings

< Investigatory Powers Act 2016

An Investigatory Powers Bill was announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2015[1]. "New legislation will modernise the law on communications data"

It is expected to include elements of the previous Communications Data Bill.


The briefing is on pages 64-65 of the accompanying notes.[2][3]

The purpose of this legislation is to
• Provide the police and intelligence agencies with the tools to keep you and your family safe.
• Address ongoing capability gaps that are severely degrading the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies ability to combat terrorism and other serious crime.
• Maintain the ability of our intelligence agencies and law enforcement to target the online communications of terrorists, paedophiles and other serious criminals.
• Modernise our law in these areas and ensure it is fit for purpose.
• Provide for appropriate oversight and safeguard arrangements.
The main benefits of these clauses would be:
• Better equipping law enforcement and intelligence agencies to meet their key operational requirements, and addressing the gap in these agencies’ ability to build intelligence and evidence where subjects of interest, suspects and vulnerable people have communicated online.
• Maintain the ability of our intelligence agencies to target the online communications of terrorists, and other relevant capabilities.
• Provide for appropriate oversight arrangements and safeguards.
• This will respond to issues raised in the independent review by the Independent Reviewer of Counter-Terrorism legislation, which is due to be published shortly.
The main elements of the clauses are:
• The legislation covers all investigatory powers including communications data, where the Government has long maintained that the gap in capabilities are putting lives at risk.
• The legislation will enable the continuation of the targeting of terrorist communications and other capabilities.

Pre-publication speculation

Speculation on content of the bill is based on the previous Communications Data Bill proposals, as well as more recent comments by the Prime Minister regarding the use of communications services that cannot be intercepted by the police or security services (i.e. end-to-end encryption).

Draft bill

A draft bill was presented on Wednesday 4 November 2015.[4]


Reactions to draft bill

Parliamentary committees

Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

  • 2015-11-10 14:15 Science and Technology Committee (Commons): Investigatory Powers Bill: Technology issues[6] (one-off) Stream
    • Matthew Hare, Chief Executive Officer, Gigaclear
    • John Shaw, Vice President, Product Management, Sophos
    • James Blessing, Chair, Internet Services Providers' Association
    • Professor Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering, University of Cambridge
    • Professor Mike Jackson, formally of Birmingham City Business Schoo
    • Dr Joss Wright, Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute
    • Professor Sir David Omand, Visiting Professor, Department of War Studies, King's College London
  • 2015-12-08 14:15 Stream
    • Mark Hughes, President, BT Security
    • Antony Walker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, techUK
    • Professor Bernard Silverman, Chief Scientific Adviser, Home Office
    • Richard Alcock, Programme Director of the Communications Capabilities Directorate, Home Office
    • Dr Bob Nowill (Cyber Security Challenge UK Chairman / Herne Hill Consulting)

Joint Committee on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill

A Joint Committee for the bill has been announced[7]. Members from the Commons are Victoria Atkins (Con), Suella Fernandes (Con), David Hanson (Lab), Stuart McDonald (SNP), Andrew Murrison (Con), Matt Warman (Con) [8]. Members from the Lords are Baroness Browning (Con), Lord Butler of Brockwell (Con), Lord Hart of Chilton (Lab), Lord Henley (Con), Lord Murphy of Torfaen (Lab), Lord Strasburger (LD), and the Bishop of Chester.



  • 2015-12-07 16:30 Witnesses Stream Transcript
    • Professor Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering, University of Cambridge
    • Dr Paul Bernal, Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law, School of Law, University of East Anglia
    • Professor Mark Ryan, Professor of Computer Security, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
    • Professor Sir David Omand GCB, Visiting Professor, Department of War Studies, King's College London
    • 17:30 Witnesses
    • Lord Blunkett
    • Owen Paterson MP
  • 2015-12-14 16:15: Witnesses Stream Transcript
    • Bob Satchwell, Executive Director of the Society of Editors
    • Colin Passmore, Senior Partner at Simmons & Simmons, appearing on behalf of The Law Society
    • Tim Musson, The Law Society of Scotland
    • Andy Smith, Vice-President of the National Union of Journalists
    • 17:00:
    • Mark Hughes, Head of Corporate Security at Vodafone
    • Adrian Gorham, Head of Fraud and Security at O2 Telefonica
    • Jonathan Grayling, Head of Government Liaison at EE
    • Simon Miller, Head of Government and Regulatory Engagement at 3
  • 2015-12-21 14:15 Witnesses Stream
    • Rachel Griffin, Director, Suzy Lamplagh Trust
    • Alan Wardle, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, NSPCC
    • Rachel Logan, Law and Human Rights Programme Director, Amnesty International
    • Professor Bill Buchanan, Head, Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks and Security, Edinburgh Napier University
    • Eric King, Visiting Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London
    • Erka Koivunen, Cyber Security Advisor, F-Secure
    • Robin Simcox, Henry Jackson Society
    • Professor Paul Ekins, Policy Exchange
  • 2016-01-06 14:15 Witnesses Stream
    • Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner
    • 15:00
    • Jesper Lund, Chairman, IT-Political Association of Denmark
    • William E. Binney, formerly Technical Director of the United States National Security Agency
    • 16:10
    • Sir Bruce Robertson, New Zealand Commissioner of Security Warrants (via video link)

Joint Committee on Human Rights

Intelligence and Security Committee

Intelligence and Security Committee issued a call for evidence on Dec 4th.

Publication and first reading

Committee stage


  • Tuesday 12 April 09:25 Stream and 14:00 Stream
  • Thursday 14 April 11:30 Stream and 14:00 Stream
  • Tuesday 19 April 09:25 and 14:00
  • Thursday 21 April 11:30 and 14:00
  • Tuesday 26 April 09:25 and 14:00
  • Thursday 28 April 11:30 and 14:00
  • Tuesday 3 May 09:25 and 14:00
  • Thursday 5 May 11:30 and 14:00



  1. Queen's Speech 2015, 2015-05-27, GOV.UK
  2. Queen’s Speech 2015: background briefing notes, 2015-05-27, GOV.UK
  3. Queen’s Speech 2015: what it means for you, 2015-05-27, GOV.UK
  4. Home Secretary introduces draft Investigatory Powers Bill, GOV.UK, 2015-11-04
  5. Impact assessment: communications data section I "...before being introduced in the early New Year"
  6. Investigatory Powers Bill: technology issues inquiry
  7. Draft Investigatory Powers Bill to be considered by joint committee, 2015-11-25
  8. Commons Agenda 2015-11-05