Insights Government publishes response to consultation on the revised Interception of Communications Code of Practice

The Government explains that the revised Interception Code is intended to provide clarity to intercepting authorities, cloud service providers and their enterprise customers regarding the circumstances in which an intercepting authority should serve a warrant on either the cloud-service provider or the enterprise customer.

The Interception Code was first issued in 2018 and on 21 July 2022 the Government published a consultation on a revised Code which ran for eight weeks, concluding on 15 September 2022. It received one response, which led to further minor amendments being made to the revised Code, including further guidance on the circumstances in which an intercepting authority should serve a warrant on a cloud service provider or enterprise customer. The new text will be inserted into Chapter 7 of the revised Code.

The Government says that these changes will “bring much needed clarity for US communications service providers (CSPs) and UK telecommunications operators (TOs) who are impacted by enterprise service issues”. The Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) continues to oversee the use of the powers to which the Code applies, and adherence to the practices and processes described in it. The Government says that it will also continue to keep under review the operation of the Code.

The Government says it is important to note that the revised Interception Code does not change government policy or the legislative provisions concerning interception contained in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. To access the Government’s response to the consultation, click here.