HOME AFFAIRS – COMMUNICATIONS DATA – 15 July 2013

Dr Julian Lewis: Most people on both sides of the House, at least in the major parties, recognise the need for communications data to be preserved so that terrorist needles can be found in a communications haystack. Will the Minister confirm that we should be reassured by the fact that the people who preserve the communications haystack for a limited period are not the Government but the suppliers from the communications industry themselves?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (James Brokenshire): My hon. Friend makes an important point. It is clear that, in about 95% of serious organised crime cases, and in virtually every terrorism investigation, the use of communications data has been extremely important. The structure that has been established is that communications providers themselves retain the information, and safeguards are in place for the requests that are made. It is precisely that structure that we are examining carefully to see how it can be strengthened to reflect changes in technology.]