Emergency Data Law to be Introduced

Emergency legislation will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use.

The proposed law has the backing of Labour and the coalition parties, who agreed this new law would protect existing rights and not be used to extend them by re-introducing the so called 'snoopers charter'.

Ministers have said the law is necessary to allow police and security services to access the data they need, after a legal ruling which declared existing powers useless.

The law will also bring in safeguards including:

• The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to examine the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties

• A review of the controversial RIPA - Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

• Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used

• The law will include a so-called sunset clause - ensuring that these powers will die in 2016 - so there will be a longer and wider debate about what replaces them.

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