The Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Information Files in the storage room


The Investigatory Powers Act 2016.


There has been much discussion around the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and its counterparts in other countries. The framework has been updated to give further investigatory powers to Security and Intelligence Agencies, Law Enforcement, and various other Public Authorities. These powers include the right to investigate any communications where there is a suspected terrorism threat, particularly internet based communications, and cover the interception of communications and the retention and acquisition of communications data.

The Act also clarifies the powers that Public Authorities can use and under which circumstances, as well as discussing the power the State has regarding obtaining communications and data. The Secretary of State now has the power to require that Communications  Service Providers retain internet connection records.

The Act creates a new IPC to oversee the use of powers, and requires that judicial commissioners must approve warrants.

This updated Act is a direct result of the Data Retention (EU Directive) Regulations 2009 being declared invalid by the European Courts of Justice in July 2014 and the Emergency Legislation that was passed in its stead. This Emergency Legislation was replaced by The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (DRIPA).

The communication environment of the Internet is constantly changing, with new threats evolving. DRIPA has been designed to combat this by providing Security and Intelligence Agencies, Law Enforcement and other Public Authorities with the described investigatory powers.



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