Latest Investigatory Powers Commencement

July 22, 2018

The Investigatory
Powers Act 2016 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional and Saving Provisions)
Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/873)
bring into force important parts of the 2016
Act on various dates – 25 July, 22 August and 1 November.

Regulation 2 brings into force on 2 July 2018 the ability of
the Secretary of State to decide to issue warrants for the acquisition of
communications data in bulk under Chapter 2 of Part 6 of the Act, and class and
specific warrants for the retention or examination of bulk personal datasets
under Part 7 of the Act. The power of Judicial Commissioners to approve
decisions to issue such warrants is also commenced.

Regulation 3 brings into force on 22 August 2018 the
provisions necessary for such warrants to be issued, modified, cancelled and
reviewed. It also commences offences of breaching the safeguards relating to
examination of data obtained under a bulk acquisition warrant or a warrant
under Part 7.

Regulation 4 commences the remaining provisions of Part 4 of
the Act concerning the retention of communications data, the majority of which
came into force in December 2016. The provisions to be commenced on 1st
November 2018 include the requirement for a Judicial Commissioner to approve a
decision to give a notice requiring the retention of communications data.

Regulation 5 provides that a direction under s 94 of the
Telecommunications Act 1984, which imposes requirements relating to the
acquisition of communications data in bulk remains in force for a maximum
period of six months, notwithstanding the repeal of that section.

Regulation 6 makes transitional provision for the safeguards
concerning retention and disclosure of material. During the period when a
decision can be made to issue a warrant but a warrant cannot be issued, the
requirement that the Secretary of State considers that satisfactory
arrangements are in place concerning these matters may be satisfied by
arrangements currently in place in relation to s 94 directions relating to the
acquisition of communications data in bulk, or arrangements made under the
Security Service Act 1989 or the Intelligence Services Act 1994 in relation to
bulk personal datasets.

Regulation 7 makes transitional provision concerning the
examination of communications data acquired in bulk. The requirement that
examination may only be for an operational purpose specified in the warrant
does not apply for 30 days after the issue of a bulk examination warrant which
replaces a s 94 direction relating to the acquisition of communications
data in bulk.

Regulation 8 provides that, for a period of six months, the
provisions of Part 7 do not apply to a bulk personal dataset held by an
intelligence agency before 22 August 2018. An intelligence agency may apply for
a bulk or specific warrant in respect of such a dataset during that period, and
the dataset will then become subject to the Part 7 regime.

Section 201 of the Act provides that the requirement under
Part 7 that retention or examination of a bulk personal dataset must be
authorised by a class or specific BPD warrant does not apply where the dataset
was obtained under another power in the Act. Regulation 9 provides that, in the
same way, a dataset does not fall to be considered under the Part 7 regime if
it is obtained by an intelligence agency under a warrant or authorisation under
the Security Service Act 1989, the Intelligence Services Act 1994, the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 or
s 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984. Such material will remain subject to
the relevant regime under which it was acquired but may (with the exception of
communications data acquired under a s 94 direction) be transferred in to
the Part 7 regime under the procedure in s 225 of the Act.

Regulation 10 makes transitional provision in relation to s
65(7) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which sets out the
persons under a duty to provide documents or information to the Investigatory
Powers Tribunal. The transitional provision ensures that a person authorised to
obtain communications data under s 22 of the 2000 Act is still subject to that
duty, until that provision is repealed and replaced by Part 3 of the 2016 Act.