The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has agreed to an independent review into the case for bulk powers in the Investigatory Powers Bill.
The agreement was revealed by the Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham, in the Queen’s Speech debate on Tuesday 24th May.
A few weeks ago, I wrote to the Home Secretary setting out seven issues on which we want significant improvement. Yesterday, she wrote to me on two of the issues I highlighted. I have to say that I found her letter extremely encouraging. She gave a commitment in the letter to an independent review of the operational case for the bulk powers.
The review will be led by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, and will report over the summer, before the Bill reaches committee stage in the House of Lords.
However, Burnham said that the opposition was still not able to fully support the Bill.
There is still a considerable way to go before the Investigatory Powers Bill becomes acceptable, but this letter shows that the Home Secretary is listening, which bodes well for the rest of the Bill’s passage.
For more information, see: May promises review into counter-terror bulk data powers – BBC News