Enshrining parallel construction in English law
Section 56 of the act as passed sets out a number of matters that are now prohibited from being brought up in court. The exact wording of section 56(1) is as follows:
Exclusion of matters from legal proceedings etc.
(1) No evidence may be adduced, question asked, assertion or disclosure made or other thing done in, for the purposes of or in connection with any legal proceedings or Inquiries Act proceedings which (in any manner)—
(a) discloses, in circumstances from which its origin in interception-related conduct may be inferred—
(i) any content of an intercepted communication, or
(ii) any secondary data obtained from a communication, or
(b) tends to suggest that any interception-related conduct has or may have occurred or may be going to occur.
This is subject to Schedule 3 (exceptions).
Section 56(1)(b) creates a legally guaranteed ability – nay, duty – to lie about even the potential for State hacking to take place, and to tell juries a wholly fictitious story about the true origins of hacked material used against defendants in order to secure criminal convictions. This is incredibly dangerous.
There is no point in having punishments for lawbreakers if it is illegal to talk about their law-breaking behaviour.