Briefing Note: Why communications data matter

In the debate around state surveillance, we all too often we hear officials say that we have nothing to fear as only the communications data (or metadata) is examined, not the content of a communication.

Big Brother Watch has therefore published a briefing on why communications data matter. In the briefing note you will find answers to questions like: what are communications data?; what can communications data reveal?; and how are communications data analysed?. We also include details of how communications data have evolved and whether the legal framework currently in place provides sufficient safeguards.

We hope you find the information informative and interesting. Do get in touch to let us know if there are any other topics that you would like us to publish information on.

Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Home, Research and reports | 5 Comments


  1. Kevin Webb LLB JP
    16th May 2014

    Hello Emma,
    Nick and I corresponded often; and I found your piece on Communications Data most interesting; particularly the opinion of Jemima Stratford QC.
    Our group assisted in the push for the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to be passed.
    Perhaps we should get our collective shoulders behind precise legislation to deal with this issue.
    Many thanks

  2. James Hammerton
    17th May 2014

    I’m getting the message “Sorry, This publication is not available” right now.

  3. Big Brother Watch Briefing Note on Why Communications Data Matters | Newsblog
    3rd June 2014

    […] // […]

  4. TOm
    13th July 2014

    Terrible presentation. Just link to a damn PDF, or, shock horror, a proper HTML page. THe reading experience in the funny viewer you have here is so bad I gave up.

    • Emma Carr
      14th July 2014

      Hi Tom

      Thanks for the feedback. We will have a look at using a different system to share documents on the blog.