The Home Secretary has announced a general review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). RIPA provides a variety of separate powers:
- Part I Chapter I deals with the interception of content (“wire taps”)
- Part I Chapter II deals with access to communications data, which is retained under the Data Retention Directive.
- Part II deals with directed surveillance (e.g. CCTV), intrusive surveillance (bugging etc) and “covert human intelligence sources” (police informers).
- Part III provides powers to demand decryption of encrypted content, or to demand an encryption key is handed over.
- Part IV creates the Interception Commissioner, the Intelligence Services Commissioner and the Chief Surveillance Commissioner, who are responsible for investigating abuse of these powers.
Update 10:45am: The consultation paper is now available on the Home Office web site.