Interception of Communications Commissioner

The role of the Interception of Communications Commissioner, defined by Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 section 57 (and prior to that the Interception of Communications Act 1985), is to retrospectively review the arrangements and warrants for legal communications interception in the UK. The commissioner works with the Home Office.

As well as interception, this also includes the retrieval of subscriber and traffic data under RIPA. (See also Office of Surveillance Commissioners.)

The Interception of Communications Commissioner was replaced by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner in September 2017.


prior to RIPA

  • 1985-??-?? - 19??-??-?? : Lord Justice Lloyd
  • 19??-??-?? - 19??-??-??: Sir Thomas Bingham
  • 19??-??-?? - 2000-04-10: Lord Nolan

under RIPA

  • 2000-04-11 - 2006-04-10: Sir Swinton Thomas
  • 2006-04-11 - 2012-12-31: Sir Paul Kennedy
  • 2013-01-01 - 2015-07-31: Sir Anthony May[1][2]
  • 2014-07-29 - 2014-12-31: Sir Paul Kennedy (interim commissioner)[3][4]
  • 2015-08-01: Sir Stanley Burton[5][6]


The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (ch.27) amended RIPA Section 58 such that reports from the commissioner would be required every 6 months.




  1. Appointment of an Interception of Communications Commissioner announced., 2012-10-22 "The Rt Hon. Sir Anthony May was involved in a serious accident four weeks ago in Central London and is recovering in hospital."
  2. Statement, 2015-05-29 "I have now had time to reflect on my role and have taken the decision to stand down at the end of July 2015. ... I am very grateful to the Prime Minister for accepting my decision to stand down prior to the end of my three year term which was up in December 2015."
  3. Announcement, 2014-07-29
  4. Statement, 2015-01-01 "Upon resuming his functions as Interception of Communications Commissioner on 1 January 2015, Sir Anthony May said..."
  5. Sir Stanley Burnton appointed Interception of Communications Commissioner, GOV.UK, 2015-11-04
  6. Statement by The Rt Hon. Sir Stanley Burnton on his appointment as Interception of Communications Commissioner, 2015-11-04