S.42(1-4) of the Draft IP Bill prevents anyone involved in interception from ever mentioning it took place as part of any legal proceedings. Note that this section is absolute: it does not have exceptions, for example in relation to the public interest: such as the ability to discuss the benefit or downsides of part interception activities; no exception for talking about this to MPs, or other democratic representatives; or even to exculpate anyone who otherwise would be wrongfully found guilty. Similar provisions (S.120(a)) keep the fruits of bulk interception out of courts.
Content of a communication
(6) The content of a communication is the elements of the communication, and any
data attached to or logically associated with the communication, which reveal
anything of what might reasonably be expected to be the meaning of the
(a) anything in the context of web browsing which identifies the
telecommunications service concerned is not content, and
(b) any meaning arising from the fact of the communication or from any
data relating to the transmission of the communication is to be
190 Subsection (9)(f) provides for the retention of internet connection records. Internet connection
records are a record of the internet services that a specific device connects to – such as a website
or instant messaging application – captured by the company providing access to the internet.
They could be used, for example, to demonstrate a certain device had accessed an online
communications service but they would not be able to be used to identify what the individual
did on that service. Clause 47 provides certain restrictions on the acquisition of internet
connection records. Clause 193 provides that in the particular context of web browsing
anything beyond data which identifies the telecommunication service (e.g. bbc.co.uk) is
451 Subsection (6)(a) provides that in the particular context of web browsing anything beyond data
which identifies the telecommunication service (e.g. bbc.co.uk) is content. Accordingly
bbc.co.uk, google.co.uk or facebook.com would be communications data but data showing
what searches have been made on Google or whose profiles have been viewed on Facebook
would be content.