Interception of Communications and the Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data
7.The existing arrangements for the interception of communications are established in the Interception of Communications Act 1985. Significant changes to that Act were proposed in the Consultation Paper “Interception of Communications in the United Kingdom” (CM 4368) published on 22 June 1999.
8.This Act repeals the 1985 Act and provides for a new regime for the interception of communications incorporating the changes proposed in the consultation paper. These changes go beyond what is strictly required for human rights purposes and provide also for the changed nature of the communications industry since 1985.
9.The provisions also implement Article 5 of Council Directive 97/66 of 15 December 1997, known as the “Telecommunications Data Protection Directive”, which requires member states to safeguard the confidentiality of communications.