The UK contemplates allowing intercepted data to be admissible for evidence at trial. Two issues with potential waiver of this basic procedural rule. On the enforcement side, the waiver would endanger the process of interception as some techniques would become public instead of remaining ‘private’, endangering the sources of data. On the defence side, it is on contrary welcomed as a means to check government’s use of intercepting powers.
I wonder if the check and balances could not be better achieved by other means. Under RIPA, indeed, the safeguards are highly perfectible. First, there can be limits on the number of agencies/authorities able to use interception, an avenue that the current Government is exploring. Government to curb council ‘snooping’ powers, ZDNet.co.uk, 5 July 2010. Second, the Interception Commissioner is hardly an effective means to improve regulation of the sector.