Special Report to Parliament - page 10

Survey of Oversight
and Review Models
for Intelligence
How do we achieve a high standard of privacy
protection in this new intelligence context?
An overview of the United Kingdom, United
States and Canadian models demonstrate the
range of mechanisms that may be useful to
In the UK, an independent Commissioner
reviews warrant applications and approvals
of government investigators under specific
conditions sets out in statute.
Statistics on interceptions of private
communications undertaken are also
compiled and reported annually, in addition
to details on all government requests for
so-called 'subscriber data' which can be
used to identify particular individuals in an
investigation. This regime has been
operating since
Regulation of Investigatory
Powers Act
(RIPA) was enacted in 2001.
There are also special Commissioners
established for data protection,
surveillance, use of closed-circuit television
(CCTV) and the intelligence services.
As well, the UK has a specialized, security-
cleared committee drawn from both Houses
of Parliament – the Intelligence and
Security Committee – to oversee national
security activities with Ministerial approval
(as revised under the 2013
Justice and
Security Act
In the US, a specially nominated bench of
security-cleared justices preside over the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
(FISC), which approves both appropriate
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and
National Security Agency (NSA)
surveillance activities
Congress has a separate security cleared
standing committee in each House
specifically tasked with intelligence
oversight. Both of these venues have been
judged to provide an important challenge
United Kingdom, Parliament. A Bill to provide for
oversight of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence
Service, GCHQ and other activities relating to
intelligence or security matters; to provide for closed
material procedure in relation to certain civil
proceedings; to prevent the making of certain court
orders for the disclosure of sensitive information; and for
connected purposes (
Justice and Security Act
2013) –
See also Nicholas A.
MacDonald, “Parliamentarians and National Security in
Canada,” from
Canadian Parliamentary Review
2011) – URL:
Kaiser, Frederick, “Congressional Oversight of
Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives” from
Intelligence Oversight and Disclosure Issues
2010), pp. 1-27.
Protecting individual privacy in the struggle against
terrorists: a framework for program assessment
, National
Research Council of the National Academies
(Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2008) –
pp. 166 – 184.
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