Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

(Redirected from Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act)

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIP Act, or RIPA) was put on the statute book to ensure that the activities of Law Enforcement (the Intelligence Agencies, Police, Customs & Excise and other bodies) were properly regulated before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in October 2000.

Overview

The Act comes in several loosely connected parts:

Part I Chapter I 
updates the law on "telephone tapping" to clearly cover Internet communications and to ensure that tapping "private" networks was lawful (following the Halford case). Establishes a Technical Advisory Board.
Part I Chapter II 
sets up a formal system for the serving of notices on telcos and ISPs to obtain "communications data". The old ad hoc system based on s29(3) of the Data Protection Act 1998 is no longer used.
Part II 
sets up a formal system for authorising "surveillance". Without such permission, Law Enforcement would be infringing your right to a "private life" under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Part III 
gives Law Enforcement the power to serve notices (Section 49 Notices) requiring that encrypted material be "put into an intelligible form" (or as everyone else would say, decrypted). Under some circumstances the notices can require that encryption keys are handed over.
Part IV 
establishes the Intelligence Services Commissioner, Surveillance and Interception Commissioners, Investigatory Powers Commissioner for Northern Ireland, and an Investigatory Powers Tribunal to hear complaints about unwarranted interception and related issues.

History

It was introduced as a bill in February 2000.[1]

Current Position

Since coming into force on 26 July 2000, RIPA has given public authorities a wide ranging set of powers that allow them to monitor both individuals and businesses. These powers include the ability to [2]:

  • intercept communications under a warrant according to Part 1, chapter 1 of RIPA, where it is necessary for one of the reasons prescribed in section 5(3) of RIPA
  • acquire communications data under chapter II of part I of RIPA, for the purposes prescribed in section 22(2) of RIPA
  • carry out surveillance and use covert human intelligence sources under part II of RIPA

The current legal position regarding the retention of data is contained within the Data Retention Regulations 2009. The Regulations state that internet service providers which have received notice from the secretary of state are required to retain certain data generated or processed in connection with the provision of their communications services for a period of 12 months. By utilising Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the RIPA, public authorities may acquire this data by serving a notice on an ISP which requires it to disclose identified communications data.[3]

Definition of 'Communications Data'

For the purposes of this Act, the definition of 'communications data' is contained in Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the RIPA.[4] In layman terms 'communications data' does not include the content of the communication (i.e what was said or written)but instead it encompasses the 'who', 'when' and 'where' of a communication.

Executive Summary

Simon Watkin (Home Office) "Public consultation on draft codes of practice for both Part I Chapter II and Part III of RIPA will open in the week commencing 5 June 2006."

The return of the Crypto Wars.

We have detailed information on Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000/Part III.

We also have a Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000/Part I Chapter II page for the on going consultation. As Spy Blog has said "This Draft Code of Practice has massive implications when combined with the European Union's plans for mandatory Data Retention of Communications Traffic Data."


Links

People

Documents

See also

References

  1. Surveillance bill under fire, BBC News, 2000-02-10
  2. http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/in-practice/practice-points/all-power-gchq
  3. http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/in-practice/practice-points/all-power-gchq
  4. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/23/section/21