NUJ Press & PR


NUJ PR & Communications branch
c/o NUJ HQ 72 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NB.
0207843 3700.

PR & Communications Branch Organiser: Fiona Swarbrick 0207 843 3729

Chair: John Millington

Branch Secretary: Mark Whitehead 07906720141

Branch Treasurer: Carmel McHenry

Auditors: Charles Harkness & Mick Holder

Newsletter Editor: Lisa Browne

Membership and Recruitment/Retention Officer: Mark Whitehead

Branch Equality Officer: Carmel McHenry 0207 226 5501

Welfare Officer and DM Convenor: Debbie Cavaldoro

Sector NEC member: Sian Jones

Please help build our branch database by sending your email address to:

Future branch meetings 2017

New Venue until further notice: London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8UE. The building is fully accessible. The nearest tube/station is King's Cross/St Pancras International.

Meetings: Wednesdays 6.30pm 11 October, 8 November.

Six-week Consultation Starts On New Rules Which Allow Uk State To Spy On Journalists And Their Sources

by Dominic Ponsford, Press Gazette

Ministers have begun consulting on new surveillance powers which include the right to grab information in order to identify journalists’ sources.

The new draft codes explain how law enforcement agencies should use powers granted to them under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

The codes have supposedly been beefed up in response to a judgment from the European Court of Justice after a challenge brought by Tom Watson MP.

But police can still grab journalists’ call records in order to identify their sources provided the request is signed off by a judicial commissioner.

The requests will be made in secret to telecoms providers.

Requests by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies to obtain details relating to phone calls, emails and text messages will be restricted to “serious” crime investigations under the codes.

But as serious crime is defined as any offence which could lead to a prison sentence of six months or more this will provide little protection for journalists.

Journalistic sources who talk to journalists can be investigated under suspicion of offences under the Bribery Act, Official Secrets Act and under the common law offence of misconduct in public office (all of which carry heavy potential jail sentences).

Security Minister Ben Wallace said the importance of communications data “cannot be overstated”.

He went on: “For example, it is often the only way to identify paedophiles involved in online child abuse and can be used to identify where and when these horrendous crimes have taken place.

“As this is an issue of public importance, we consider it important to consult on our proposed changes to inform our legislative response and subsequent Parliamentary debate.”

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry, National Police Chiefs Council lead for communications data, said: “In recent years we have seen over 700,000 items of communications data acquired annually.

“It is vital that our capacity to do so remains intact and fit for the future, while ensuring there is trust and confidence in what we do.”

Watson claimed the Government had made “significant concessions”, adding: “The current legislation fails to protect people’s fundamental rights or respect the rule of law. That’s what my legal challenge proved.”

National Union of Journalists campaigns coordinator Sarah Kavanagh said of the codes: “We are still concerned that there aren’t appropriate safeguard in place for press freedom and journalism.”

The consultation closes on 28 December 2017.

Full details of how to respond here.

Item uploaded: Tuesday, December 05 2017
Last modified: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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