Emma Okonji with agency report
The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary has declared that the provisions of Part 1 of the 2016 Act of the UK General Privacy Protections will come into force on June 27, 2018.
The regulations bring into force provisions in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, relating to the interception of communications and equipment interference.
The law allows UK authority to monitor all conversations on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, among others.
Regulations 8 to 10 and 12(e) bring into force on June 27, 2018, the provisions necessary for such warrants to be issued. They also bring into force the provisions relating to the modification, cancelation and renewal of warrants, the duty not to make unauthorised disclosure, the exclusion of matters relating to interception from legal proceedings, and in the case of bulk warrants, the selection for examination safeguards.
Regulation 8 also brings into force the other forms of lawful interception in chapter 2 of Part 2 of the 2016 Act.
This provides lawful authority for interception in certain limited circumstances, for example where interception takes place with consent, where it is carried out by an authority for a purpose connected to certain of its functions.
Regulations 2 and 7 bring into force general privacy protections in Part 1 of the 2016 Act, so far as relevant to the other provisions coming into force. This includes an offence of unlawful interception, the power of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to impose monetary penalties in relation to certain unlawful interception, and civil liability for certain unlawful interception.
Regulation 11 brings into force provisions giving the Investigatory Powers Commissioner oversight of the exercise by public authorities of the statutory functions relating to equipment interference, and requiring the reporting of errors by an intelligence service or the Ministry of Defence in relation to interception or equipment interference. Regulation 11 also brings into force amendments relating to interception and equipment interference in relation to the jurisdiction and procedure of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
Regulation 14 brings into force section 13 of the 2016 Act which requires that equipment interference conducted by the intelligence service must be authorised under the Act in certain circumstances.
Regulation 14 also brings into force the repeal of provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, such that from August 8, 2018, the heads of an intelligence service and the Chief of Defence Intelligence will not be able to apply for interception warrants under Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA.)
Regulation 15 provides for transitional provisions for the retention and disclosure of material. Under the 2016 Act, a person can only decide to issue a targeted or bulk interception warrant if the person considers that satisfactory arrangements are in place in relation to the disclosure and retention of material.
Regulation 16 provides for transitional arrangements in relation to material obtained under interception warrants issued to the head of an intelligence service or the Chief of Defence Intelligence. Until Chapter 1 of Part 1 of RIPA is fully repealed, material obtained under RIPA can be handled in accordance with the safeguards in the 2016 Act. Material obtained under a RIPA interception warrant in relation to which there is a certificate under section 8(4) of RIPA may be selected for examination under the 2016 Act.