Independent terrorism legislation reviewer approves spies’ bulk collection powers

David Anderson QC
David Anderson QC

The UK’s spies should be permitted to continue harvesting huge amounts of data from email, according to the independent reviewer of terror legislation.

David Anderson QC has said in a review of the intelligence services’ bulk collection powers that there was no viable alternative available to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in defeating terrorism.

However, he said the operational case for this type of surveillance as not “not yet proven”.

The review examined the security services’ activities but not the case for retaining individuals’ internet records for 12 months, another feature of the Investigatory Powers Bill, or Snoopers’ Charter.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Mr Anderson’s report demonstrates how the bulk powers contained in the Investigatory Powers Bill are of crucial importance to our security and intelligence agencies.

“These powers often provide the only means by which our Agencies are able to protect the British public from the most serious threats that we face. It is vital that we retain them, while ensuring their use is subject to robust safeguards and world-leading oversight which are enshrined in the IP Bill.”

Share icon
Share this article: