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Government in a rush to plug data gap

15 July 2014

Following the ruling by the European Court of Justice on the invalidity of the Data Retention Directive as an unlawful intrusion of privacy, the UK government has proposed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill to deal with the retention of telecommunications data.
Under the Bill, telecommunications operators are required to retain communications data for a period of up to 12 months. The Bill gives the Secretary of State power to adopt a regulation that would set out certain procedural requirements regarding the retention of communications data.
The Bill will replace the Data Retention Regulations 2009, amend the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act 2000 (RIPA) and clarify the circumstances in which a warrant for the disclosure of data can be issued.
The declaration of invalidity clearly left a gap which the government wishes to plug, to enable the continued use by law enforcement agencies of such data. Can we take this as a hint that the controversial RIPA legislation may also be reviewed, in relation to the interception of communications, in addition to its retention?

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