The Investigatory Powers Act received the Royal Assent on 29th November 2016. As a snapshot, it consolidates those powers given to law enforcement and the intelligence services in, principally, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Ac 2014. Key provisions relate to the interception and retention of communications data and the content of communications, equipment interference, bulk interception and acquisition of data, bulk equipment interference and bulk personal datasets. It includes, for the first time, a power requiring communications service providers to retain internet connection record and certain other data for a period up to 12 months and creates the office of Investigatory Powers Commissioner. It also imposes a so-called ‘double-lock’ safeguard in relation to warrants for accessing the content of communications and equipment interference, with judicial approval, in addition to Secretary of State of authorisation, now being required.

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