Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation brands data retention laws ‘obscure’ and ‘incomprehensible’


The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, has called for new laws to be ‘drafted from scratch’ to govern the data retention and investigatory powers currently provided by the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014. His report released in parliament this morning outlines numerous failings of the current legislation branding it ‘incomprehensible to all but a tiny band of initiates.’

Yasmine Ahmed, Director of Rights Watch (UK), states:

“The Investigatory Powers Review highlights the need for statutory reform of current data retention and investigatory powers. The current framework governing these powers has developed in a piecemeal fashion and no longer offers a robust and transparent means of regulation.

We call on the UK government to act on the recommendations of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and draft new legislation which appropriately balances the right to privacy and the need for collective security and in so doing, provides an appropriate mechanism of oversight of data retention and investigatory powers.”


For more information on this release contact Yasmine Ahmed (Director) on (+44) 0208 004 0941 or email

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