Joint Committee recommends whistleblower protection for security services staff

21st November 2016

The Joint Committee on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill has criticised the Investigatory Powers Bill, also known as the Snooper’s Charter, for failing to do enough to protect privacy.

According to the Joint Committee, the Home Secretary is yet to make a conclusive case for giving the intelligence community the powers outlined in the bill. In total the Committee made 86 recommendations, two concerning the protection of whistleblowers.

The Joint Committee recommended that there should be an explicit provision for Communication Service Providers and staff in public authorities to refer directly to the Judicial Commissioners any complaint or concern they may have with the use of the powers under the Bill or any request for clarification on the use of those powers. Where clarification is provided, the Judicial Commissioners will need to have the power to make that information public should it be appropriate in the circumstances. According to the Committee this will enable better compliance with the provisions of the Bill and will help to reduce costs.