On 19 August, the Prime Minister published the Report of David Anderson QC’s Bulk Powers Review. The purpose of the Review was to evaluate the operational case for four existing or proposed powers, reserved to the security and intelligence agencies, which involve the collection of data in bulk.
The Review was commissioned at the request of the Opposition, to inform the progress of the Investigatory Powers Bill that is currently before Parliament. David Anderson concluded that there was a proven operational case for three of the powers, and a distinct (but not yet proven) case for the fourth: bulk equipment interference. He also recommended that the Investigatory Powers Bill be amended to provide for a Technical Advisory Panel of security-cleared independent academics and industry experts to be appointed by the new, Judge-led Investigatory Powers Commission to advise the IPC and the Secretary of State on the impact of changing technology on the exercise of investigatory powers and on the availability of techniques to use those powers while minimising interference with privacy.