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Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many instances have been reported to her Department of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 powers being used for cases unrelated to terrorism or serious crime. (204344)

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 covers a number of different covert investigatory powers used by a broad spectrum of public bodies for a variety of purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, Secretary of State authorisation of intrusive techniques by intelligence and law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism and serious crime. In instances where Secretary of State authorisation is not required—such as the police use of informants, local council use of telephone billing records or regulatory body use of surveillance—there is no requirement to report the exercise of these powers to the Secretary of State. Authorisation of all these powers is subject to regular inspection by the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Chief Surveillance Commissioner who publish annual reports on their findings. The most recent publications have been placed in the Library.