December 20, 2017

ORG responds to annual report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner (IOCCO)

Responding to today’s publication of the 2016 annual report of the outgoing Interception of Communications Commissioner (IOCCO), the Open Rights Group highlighted a number of issues.

Over 750,000 requests for items of communications data were approved in 2016, each involving up to a year of records.

Significant concerns are raised about errors when public authorities try to connect internet activities to specific individuals, which in some cases has led to innocent people being wrongly accused of extremely serious offences. The report also raises questions over the threshold for notification to affected individuals only covering cases where there is significant prejudice or harm.

Javier Ruiz, Policy Director of the Open Rights Group said:

“We share the report’s concern over errors in internet surveillance, and agree that a change of mindset is required, away from the assumption that technical intelligence is always correct. Individuals affected should always be notified, as police are not best placed to determine the harms caused by their mistakes.”

––

Javier Ruiz can be contacted on 07877911412

javier@openrightsgroup.org

The IOCCO  report can be viewed here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-of-the-interception-of-communications-commissioner-annual-report-2016