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Investigatory Powers Commissioner appointed for oversight of UK-US Data Access Agreement

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A new Independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner will provide oversight of the UK’s use of the UK-US Data Access Agreement which completes its scrutiny process in the US Congress this month.


The new UK-US Data Access Agreement which has completed its ratification in Parliament earlier this year, completes its scrutiny process in the US Congress this month & comes into use later in 2020.

This will let certain UK public authorities, including law enforcement, to request electronic data directly from US telecommunications operators via a court-approved order or a warrant, speeding up investigations & the prosecution of serious criminals.


Independent oversight will be provided by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC), Sir Brian Leveson. The IPC’s role includes ensuring compliance of UK agencies with the Agreement under review, providing independent oversight to help ensure that it is being used in accordance with its terms. Both the UK & US are required to make sure that the agencies which utilise the agreement maintain high standards of data protection & privacy safeguards.

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The IPC already provides independent oversight & authorisation of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces & other public authorities.

Home Secretary Priti Patel observed  “My priority is to give law enforcement the powers they need to go after criminals & better protect victims. This landmark Agreement will dramatically speed up the investigation % prosecution of the most serious offenders.”

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