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Communications Data Bill

16 May 2012

One of the bills introduced in the recent Queens speech of interest to the IT/IP sector is the Draft Communications Data Bill.

This Bill will ensure that relevant authorities can monitor communications data. The government has proposed this measure to meet the need of enforcement and intelligence agencies to access data to protect the public. This Bill is subject to much criticism and scrutiny due to its potential scope and privacy issues. Many are concerned at how the ‘communications data’ will be separated from the content of the communication without breaching privacy. ISPs and telecommunications companies will have to keep this data for 12 months, how this will be intercepted and stored remains a key issue.

It will also establish a new framework and safeguards to accompany the way the data is obtained, it remains to be seen how the Bill will be drafted to ensure adequate protection. Further detail is yet to be released and detailed debate in Parliament will no doubt follow.

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