News Article

Interception of Communications Commissioner publishes report today

Last Updated: 08 Apr 2014
Sir Anthony May reports on his statutory oversight of the interception and communications data activities of the public authorities during 2013.

News article - 08 Apr 2014

Today the Government has published a report submitted to the Prime Minister by Sir Anthony May, Interception of Communications Commissioner, on the work carried out by Sir Anthony and his team during 2013.
Sir Anthony said:

"My first and full report is a full and independent account of my statutory oversight of the interception and communications data activities of the public authorities during 2013.  Importantly, the report is as detailed and open as I have been able to make it; there is no confidential annex,; and it addresses Questions of Concern arising from media disclosures relevant to my statutory oversight.  I hope that Parliament and the public will find it helpful."
The Foreign Secretary, in his role as Minister responsible for GCHQ, said:

"I strongly welcome this report. A senior and fully independent judge has looked in detail at whether the interception agencies ‘misuse their powers to engage in random mass intrusion into the private affairs of law abiding UK citizens’. He has concluded that the answer is ‘emphatically no’.

"We are open to suggestions to strengthen the oversight framework even further and make it as transparent as possible without putting security at risk. Sir Anthony’s role and the recommendations in this report are very important in that regard.  The intelligence agencies work tirelessly and with minimal recognition to keep us safe from terrorists, criminals, hostile governments and others who pose risks to our society. They exist to defend our freedoms and values, not to threaten them."
Home Secretary Theresa May said:

"I welcome Sir Anthony’s comprehensive and authoritative report.  It makes clear that the intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and other public authorities operate lawfully, conscientiously and in the national interest.  Importantly, the report finds that they do not engage in indiscriminate and random mass surveillance. Sir Anthony also concludes that the legislative framework for regulating and overseeing their activities is robust.  The Government is committed to ensuring that law enforcement and intelligence agencies have the powers they need to investigate crime, protect the public and safeguard national security. That includes communications data which is vital in helping to keep the public safe: it is used to investigate crimes, bring offenders to justice and to save lives.  We will respond to his recommendations in due course."

Read the full report