Thank you for your further email on this subject.
We apologise if you have had some difficulty in accessing the consultation on the Home Office website. It can be found at http://homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/consultations/. We have also extended the consultation until 17th December to enable those who may have encountered difficulties in responding to do so.
As you will note in the consultation we have undertaken to make changes to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to remedy defects in the way in which the E-Privacy and Data Protection Directives were transposed into UK law. The proposed changes do not alter the principles of the Directives in question and consultation took place when those Directives were originally transposed into UK law, albeit defectively, as we now recognise. Consequently, we are carrying out a short, targeted consultation. We are focusing on those parties directly affected by the changes to the extent that those parties would be subject to the civil sanction or directly concerned with it, or are directly responsible, where lawful interception is taking place, for ensuring that consent has been obtained to the interception. There is a clear distinction between changes we are enjoined to make, having agreed to do so, and changes, for example, which are being proposed for the E-Privacy Directive on which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are consulting. Notwithstanding that we decided, in the interests of transparency, to publish the consultation on the Home Office’s website.
Given the need to amend legislation rapidly and having been referred to the European Court of Justice the consultation period is necessarily short, and consequently it is not possible to meet every party that shows an interest in this subject. In the limited time we have we are focussing our face to face engagement on those parties to whom we sent our consultation directly, which does not include civil society groups. We would of course welcome any official response that you would like to make to the consultation.
The minister responsible for these issues in the first instance is Baroness Neville-Jones.
I trust that assists and clarifies our position.
The RIPA Team