Legislation giving police and prosecutors the power to obtain faster access to electronic data held overseas became law today (12 February 2019).Where a relevant international agreement is in place, the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 will allow police and prosecutors quicker access to electronic data held outside of the UK, supporting investigations into crimes such as child sexual exploitation and terrorism.The act gives law enforcement agencies and prosecutors the power to obtain electronic data directly from an overseas communications service provider (CSP). There is already a similar process for UK law enforcement to obtain information from UK companies.The UK is currently in the process of negotiating a data access agreement with the United States, where the world’s largest CSPs are based.Minister for Security and Economic Crime, Ben Wallace, said: National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Investigatory Powers Act Capabilities, Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry, said: Increasingly paedophiles and terrorists exploit the internet to facilitate their depraved and dangerous criminal activities. With 99% of child sexual abuse content hosted on overseas platforms, it is vital that we give police the powers they need to gain rapid access to this data and put a stop to the perpetrators abusing these children. This act will do exactly that, and I want to thank Parliamentarians of all parties for their rigorous scrutiny of this important piece of legislation. Currently, when law enforcement agencies want access to data held by a CSP overseas, mutual legal assistance channels are used which can take anywhere from six months to two years, resulting in delayed or sometimes abandoned investigations or prosecutions.The act gives law enforcement agencies the ability to apply to a UK judge for an overseas production order which, if granted, will require the specified CSP to provide, or allow access to, stored electronic data for investigating and prosecuting serious crimes.The overseas production order would give the police and prosecutors the ability to seek access to the required electronic data, such as messages, files and pictures, directly from the overseas CSP, reducing the time it takes to days or weeks.The process will remain subject to robust judicial oversight and protections for legally privileged material and journalistic data have been written into law.The legislation also requires the government to seek death penalty assurances in any relevant international agreement.The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act finished its Parliamentary passage in the Lords on 11 February 2019. The cumbersome nature of long standing arrangements for mutual legal assistance has for many years inhibited the speed at which UK policing has been able to access vital information stored in other countries. More timely access to such data is welcome, and the provisions in the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act can speed up investigations whilst still allowing for in-built judicial safeguards and scrutiny.
When the serious action begins, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot at 06:35 BST on Thursday.Despite the early start, the grandstands around the first tee are certain to be packed in order to watch the 2011 Open champion and local favourite tee off.Clarke was brought up further inland at Dungannon but has a house next to the course and said it was an “honour” to be asked by the R&A to begin proceedings.It has been a long wait for Portrush to host its second Open, and much has changed in that time, including the creation of two new holes – the seventh and eighth.Flamboyant Englishman Max Faulkner was awarded £300 and the Claret Jug the last time it was held at Portrush, which is just a few miles down the coast from the Giant’s Causeway.While the famous trophy remains, this year’s winner will receive a cheque for £1.56m and the R&A predicts the tournament will deliver an £80m boost to the local economy.Rory McIlroy has won four majors already so has experienced the emotion of winning the game’s biggest prizes – but he admits lifting the Claret Jug on home soil on Sunday could see him “burst out crying”.The Northern Irishman has pedigree at Portrush, setting the course record of 61 as a 16-year-old during the North of Ireland Championship.Fourteen years later and sitting third in the world rankings, McIlroy will hope to embrace the huge home support he will have as he looks to end a five-year wait for a fifth major title.“I want to enjoy it and give these crowds something to cheer for,” said the 2014 champion, who remembers meeting Clarke when he visited the club aged 10.The third Northern Irish major champion in the field is Graeme McDowell, who was born and raised in the town but who says his family could not afford memberships at Royal Portrush when he was growing up, so instead they joined the Rathmore club that plays on Royal Portrush’s second course, the Valley.He told the European Tour he remembers sneaking on to play the course as a teenager with brother Gary, who is now part of Royal Portrush’s greenkeeping staff.But the more recognisable McDowell almost did not make it to his home Open, and admits he would have found it hard to be in the town in a different capacity had he not qualified.The 2010 US Open champion did however eventually book his spot in June after a tie for eighth place at the Canadian Open.World number four Justin Rose is the highest-ranked Englishman in the field as he seeks to add to his lone major victory – the 2013 US Open – while Tommy Fleetwood, who has seaside nous given he grew up playing the great links of Southport, says he is expecting Portrush to feel like a “home” venue.Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston made it into the field with one of the week’s feel-good stories, finishing tied fourth at the Scottish Open on Sunday to qualify after a difficult couple of years in which he had dropped to 337th in the rankings.Three key holes to look out forHole 5: White Rocks 382 yards, par 4: The R&A has indicated they are happy to use a forward tee to entice the players to have a crack at the green on this dog-leg. There are two bunkers at 280-290 yards which come into play with the tee shot. The green is perched on the cliff edge and players could go out of bounds just two or three yards over the back.Hole 7: Curran Point – 590 yards, par 5: This is the first of the two new holes and is a very strong par five from an elevated tee into a valley with high dunes along the right side that separate the course from the beach. There is a big bunker on that flank that requires a 300-yard carry. The hazard is a nod to the famous ‘Big Nelly’ bunker that was on the 17th, which has been lost. The second shot is uphill and the landing area narrows as you get nearer a green that has plenty of undulations.Hole 16: Calamity Corner – 236 yards, par 3: This world-famous short hole has been stretched to 236 yards. There is a deep chasm on the right and ‘Bobby Locke’s hollow’ is the only respite. Situated on the front left corner of the green, it is where the South African is played each day in the 1951 Open. This is a difficult elevated green, with the wind likely to affect putting.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Northern Ireland’s rugged and spectacular north-east coastline will come alive with excitement and expectation today when the Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.The County Antrim club will host the 148th staging of the game’s oldest major, 68 years after it held the only other Open to be played outside of England and Scotland.Some 237,750 fans are expected at the Dunluce course during the week, with tickets selling out for both tournament and practice days.