The Joint Committee of MPs and Peers undertaking pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Communications Data Bill will be holding two public evidence sessions next week.
At 2.45pm on Tuesday 23 October, the Committee will hear from:
• Henry Porter, columnist for The Observer;
• Duncan Campbell, investigative journalist and a registered expert witness on communications data; and
• Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager and Solicitor, Entanet Opinion, a media issues blog.
They will be followed, at 3.30pm, by Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Then, on Wednesday 24 October at 4pm, the Committee will question the following officials from the Home Office (starting in public but moving to a private session after approx 45 minutes):
• Richard Alcock, Director of Communications Capability Directorate;
• Charles Farr, Director General, Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism; and
• Peter Hill, Head of Unit for Pursue Policy and Strategy Unit.
The witnesses will be quizzed on issues including:
• problems that criminal investigations face due to the changing nature of the communications industry and the use of communications data in prosecutions;
• the definitions of data and contents; and
• consultations held with internet and content service providers and social networks;
• whether Deep Packet Inspection will achieve the aims of the Bill;
• the use that might be made of the Request Filter
On Tuesday 23 October, the evidence sessions will begin at approximately 2.45pm and will take place in Committee Room 4A. Mr Starmer’s session is expected to start at 4.00pm.
On Wednesday 24 October, the evidence session will begin at approximately 4pm and will take place in Committee Room 2A.