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 Post subject: Home Office: Draft Communications Data Bill
PostPosted: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 15:43:28 +0000 
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http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/do ... 9/8359.pdf

Draft Communications Data Bill

Presented to Parliament
by the Secretary of State for the Home Department
by Command of Her Majesty

June 2012


Cm 8359

FOREWORD BY THE HOME SECRETARY

Communications technologies and services are changing fast. More
communications are taking place on the internet using a wider range
of services. As criminals make increasing use of internet based
communications, we need to ensure that the police and intelligence
agencies continue to have the tools they need to do the job we ask of
them: investigating crime and terrorism, protecting the vulnerable and
bringing criminals to justice.

For many years our police and security and intelligence agencies have used
communications data from landline telephones and mobiles to catch criminals and to
protect the public. This information – which does not include the content of a phone call or
email – has played a role in nearly every serious organised crime investigation and in all
major Security Service counter-terrorism operations over the past decade and is
fundamental to policing across the UK. But the ability of the police and others to use this
vital tool is disappearing because communications data from new technologies is less
available and often harder to access. Without action there is a serious and growing risk that
crimes enabled by email and the internet will go undetected and unpunished, that the
vulnerable will not be protected and that terrorists and criminals will not be caught and
prosecuted. No responsible Government could allow such a situation to develop
unaddressed.

The purpose of this Bill, therefore, is to protect the public and bring offenders to justice by
ensuring that communications data is available to the police and security and intelligence
agencies in future as it has been in the past. I recognise that these proposals raise
important issues around personal privacy. This Government is committed to ensuring that
here, as elsewhere, we strike the right balance between protecting the public and
safeguarding civil liberties. I believe that there are compelling reasons for the provisions in
this Bill and want to ensure that they are fully considered and understood before we
commence the formal legislative process.


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