1st Edition

Protecting National Security
A History of British Communications Investigation Regulation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 27, 2021
ISBN 9780815395447
July 27, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
312 Pages

USD $155.00

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Book Description

This book contends that modern concerns surrounding the UK State’s investigation of communications (and more recently data), whether at rest or in transit, are in fact nothing new. It evidences how, whether using common law, the Royal Prerogative or statutes to provide a lawful basis for a state practice traceable to at least 1324, the underlying policy rationale has always been that first publicly articulated in Cromwell’s initial Postage Act 1657, namely the protection of British ‘national security’, broadly construed. It further illustrates how developments in communications technology led to executive assumptions of relevant investigatory powers, administered in conditions of relative secrecy. In demonstrating the key role played throughout history by communications service providers, the book also charts how the evolution of the UK Intelligence Community, entry into the ‘UKUSA’ communications intelligence-sharing agreement 1946, and intelligence community advocacy all significantly influenced the era of arguably disingenuous statutory governance of communications investigation between 1984 and 2016.

The book illustrates how the 2013 ‘Intelligence Shock’ triggered by publication of Edward Snowden’s unauthorised disclosures impelled a transition from Executive secrecy and statutory disingenuousness to a more consultative, candid Executive and a policy of ‘transparent secrecy’, now reflected in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. What the book ultimately demonstrates is that this latest comprehensive statute, whilst welcome for its candour, represents only the latest manifestation of the British state’s policy of ensuring protection of national security by granting powers enabling investigative access to communications and data, in transit or at rest, irrespective of location.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introductory Materials

Chapter 1. Introduction and Methodology

Chapter 2. Key Concepts and Definitions

Part II: Secretive Communications Investigation Governance


Chapter 3. Secretive Non-Statutory Regulation: Interception of Communications 1324-1919

Chapter 4. Secretive Partial Statutory Governance: Interception of Communications 1920-1984

Part III: Disingenuous Statutory Governance 1984-2016

Chapter 5. Disingenuous Statutory Regulation: Interception of Communications: 1984-1999

Chapter 6. Disingenuous Statutory Regulation: Interception of Communications 2000-2016

Chapter 7. Disingenuous Statutory Regulation: Communications Data Retention 2001-2016

Chapter 8. Disingenuous Statutory Regulation: Obtaining Retained Communications Data 2000-2016

Chapter 9. The 2013 Intelligence Shock: Towards a Modern and Transparent Legal Framework 2013-2016

PART IV: Candid Statutory Governance: 2016-?

Chapter 10. Avowal, Transparency and a Modern and Transparent Framework: Rationalising the Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Chapter 11. Postscript

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Phil Glover was born and raised near Belfast, Northern Ireland. Having left school without qualifications he served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary between 1983 and 2002. He returned to higher education in Scotland in 2008 and obtained an LLB (Honours) from the University of Aberdeen in 2012. He completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2015 before commencing a career in academia. He now teaches criminal law and conducts comparative national security-related research at Curtin University Law School, Perth, Western Australia.