LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- A major review of surveillance in Britain, released Thursday, concludes new legislation on monitoring online communications is required.
The landmark, 300-page "Anderson Report," named after independent reviewer of surveillance-oriented legislation David Anderson, says overlapping laws and powers, and the existing framework of legislation, no longer serves the country's security interests, and adds a comprehensive and understandable new law is required.
"Each intrusive power must be shown to be necessary, clearly spelled out in law, limited in accordance with international human rights standards and subject to demanding and visible safeguards. The current law is fragmented, obscure, under constant challenge and variable in the protections that it affords the innocent. It is time for a clean slate," Anderson wrote.
A new law could also serve as a template for other countries, which regard Britain, with its long history of dealing with terrorism and insurgencies, as a model for security legislation.
The report proposes that judges have power to compel communications companies to hand over encrypted data authorities currently cannot access; a judicial body to issue warrants to intercept telephone calls and e-mails, removing that power currently held by the Home Secretary, and creation of the position of intelligence auditor to oversee extraordinary requests for communications interceptions.
It added, though, that British government surveillance agencies, including MI5, MI6, GCHQ and other law enforcement groups should continue their capabilities regarding "bulk collection" of data.