Consultation: Communications Data

December 11, 2014

On 9 December the Home Office published a series of documents as part of a consultation on two draft codes of practice.

The first code is an updated acquisition and disclosure of communications data code of practice pursuant to RIPA, s 71. The second is a new retention of communications data code of practice pursuant to the Data Retention Regulations 2014, reg 10 and RPIA, s 71.

The draft codes of practice set out the processes and safeguards governing the retention of communications data by communications service providers and its acquisition by public authorities, including law enforcement agencies. The Home Office states that they are intended to provide clarity, and incorporate best practice, on the use of the relevant powers, ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and compliance in this important aspect of law enforcement.

The consultation seeks views on the additional consideration that must be given to communications data requests relating to those in professions which handle confidential information (such as journalists). The consultation also contains a document setting out how the retention code of practice would take into account provisions contained in the Counter-terrorism and Security Bill.

Representations should be sent to no later than 20 January 2015.