Use of Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act to obtain journalists email records

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-09-17
Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3193
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Under the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 the Metropolitan Police can obtain journalists’ email records. Please could you confirm if you would support the Metropolitan Police’s use of the these powers in order to obtain journalists email records in cases other than terrorism? If so, please could you list the types of crimes where you would support the use of these powers.

Answer

Answer for Use of Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act to obtain journalists email records

Answer for Use of Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act to obtain journalists email records

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The communications data accessible under RIPA is restricted to the context not the content of a communication. It can be used to demonstrate who was communicating; when; from where; and with whom. It can include the time and duration of a communication, the number or email address of the originator and recipient, and sometimes the location of the device from which the communication was made. It does not include the content of any communication, for example, the text of an email or a conversation on a telephone. Communications data is used by law enforcement, certain public authorities and agencies during investigations bearing on national security, organised and serious crime. It is also used for other purposes that are set out in RIPA that include matters of emergency, such as preventing death or injury.

Communications data is generated and held by CSPs. Law enforcement (as well as a range of public authorities and agencies) has been permitted to acquire the communications data retained by CSPs. There are strict rules governing this activity and are detailed in RIPA and its associated Code of Practice.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) is legislation that complements RIPA. It provides a legal duty on CSPS concerning the retention periods for such communications data they hold.

Neither RIPA nor DRIPA allow law enforcement, public authorities or agencies to obtain the contents of e-mails under any circumstances.