Investigatory powers enhanced to keep people safer

25 Apr 2024 02:29 PM

New laws have been passed as part of an update to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

New laws to protect our citizens from threats such as terrorism and child sexual abuse have been passed as part of an update to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.  

As technology has rapidly advanced and the type of threats the UK faces evolved, it is crucial the UK stays ahead of our adversaries to keep the British people safe.   

Urgent, targeted changes made to the Investigatory Powers Act after the Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Act received royal assent today (25th April) will ensure the intelligence services and law enforcement have the powers they need to keep pace with a range of evolving threats from terrorists, hostile state actors, child abusers and criminal gangs.  

The act will also help to protect the privacy of British citizens by strengthening the world-leading safeguards within the 2016 Act.   

The new act makes focused amendments to the existing regime to ensure that it remains fit-for-purpose following an independent review of the law by Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE KC. 

The updates today: 

The updated conditions for the use of internet connection records will enable the National Crime Agency to track down child sex abusers more quickly, boosting our efforts to protect children at risk of harm and bring offenders to justice.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said: 

As Security Minister, my first priority is to keep the British public safe.  

The world-leading Investigatory Powers regime is crucial to keeping the public safe. That’s why we’re making urgent, targeted changes to the Investigatory Powers Act to ensure our laws keep pace with rapidly changing technology and to guard against modern threats to national security.   

These changes mean that not only will our citizens be better protected from serious dangers such as terrorism and child sexual abuse online – their privacy will be better protected too

The UK was already a world leader in ensuring privacy can be protected without compromising security. The amendments passed today will maintain and enhance the existing high standards for safeguarding privacy.

The reforms to the act will ensure the powers continue to be subject to robust independent oversight. Access to individuals’ data will happen only, where it is proportionate, necessary to prevent the most serious forms of crime, and with robust protections in place.