UK: Home Office publishes Codes for:
Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources



Update 16 September 2003

The Home Office is notorious for changing links to documents on its website - the main links in the section just below have been updated


On 2 August 2002 the Home Office published two new Codes of practice under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The first, "Covert Surveillance", covers "directed surveillance" (eg: placing a listening device outside a house/office) and "instrusive surveillance" (eg: placing a listening device or camera inside a house/office). The second, "Covert Human Intelligence Sources", covers willing and unwilling (coerced) informants, agent-provocateurs and undercover officers or agents).

To access the text on the Home Office site: Covert Surveillance (link)
To access the text on the Home Office site: Covert Human Intelligence Sources (new link)
To access both as one html file: Reports (thanks to Cryptome)

Background

Government forced to withdraw surveillance plans
Analysis of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill
The full-text of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act: RIPA (link)


Below are listed the Contents of each of the new Codes with links for each section:

OVERT SURVEILLANCE

CODE OF PRACTICE

Pursuant to Section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Commencement

This code applies to every authorisation of covert surveillance or of entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy carried out under section 5 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994, Part III of the Police Act 1997 or Part II of the Regulation of  Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by public authorities which begins on or after the day on which this code comes into effect.

CONTENTS

Chapter 1: BACKGROUND

General extent of powers
Use of material in evidence
Directed surveillance, intrusive surveillance and entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy

Chapter 2: GENERAL RULES ON AUTHORISATIONS

Necessity and proportionality
Collateral intrusion
Combined authorisations
Central record of all authorisations
Retention and destruction of the product
The Intelligence Services, MOD and HM Forces

Chapter 3: SPECIAL RULES ON AUTHORISATIONS

Communications subject to legal privilege
Communications involving confidential personal information and confidential journalistic
material

Chapter 4: AUTHORISATION PROCEDURES FOR DIRECTED SURVEILLANCE

Authorisation Procedures
Information to be provided in applications for authorisation
Duration of authorisations
Reviews
Renewals
Cancellations
Ceasing of surveillance activity
ADDITIONAL RULES
Recording of telephone conversations

Chapter 5: AUTHORISATION PROCEDURES FOR INTRUSIVE SURVEILLANCE

Authorisations Procedures for Police, National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National
Crime Squad and HM Customs and Excise
Information to be provided in applications for authorisation
Approval of Surveillance Commissioners
Notifications to Surveillance Commissioners
Authorisations Procedures for Secretary of State
All intrusive surveillance authorisations
Duration of Authorisations
Renewals
Reviews
Cancellations
Ceasing of surveillance activity

Chapter 6: AUTHORISATION PROCEDURES FOR ENTRY ON OR INTERFERENCE WITH PROPERTY OR WITH WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

Authorisations for entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy by
the police, National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad and HM
Customs and Excise

Authorisation procedures for entry on or interference with property or with wireless
telegraphy by the police, National Criminal Intelligence Service the National Crime Squad
and HM Customs and Excise

Notifications to Surveillance Commissioners
Duration of authorisations
Renewals
Reviews
Cancellations
Authorisations record
Ceasing of entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy
Retrieval of equipment
Special cases - Cases requiring prior approval of a Surveillance Commissioner
Authorisations for entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy by
the intelligence services
Retrieval of equipment

Chapter 7: OVERSIGHT

Chapter 8: COMPLAINTS

Annex A



2. COVERT HUMAN INTELLIGENCE SOURCES

CODE OF PRACTICE

Pursuant to Section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Commencement

This code applies to every authorisation of the use or conduct by public authorities of covert human intelligence sources carried out under Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 which begins on or after the day on which this code comes into effect.

Chapter 1: BACKGROUND

General extent of powers
Use of material in evidence

Chapter 2: GENERAL RULES ON AUTHORISATIONS

Necessity and proportionality
Collateral intrusion
Combined authorisations
Directed surveillance against a potential source
Central record of all authorisations
Retention and destruction of the product
The Intelligence Services, MOD and HM Forces

Chapter 3: SPECIAL RULES ON AUTHORISATIONS

Confidential information
Communications subject to privilege
Communications involving confidential personal information and
confidential journalistic material
Vulnerable individuals
Juvenile sources

Chapter 4: AUTHORISATION PROCEDURES FOR COVERT HUMAN INTELLIGENCE SOURCES

Authorisation procedures
Information to be provided in applications for authorisation
Duration of authorisations
Reviews
Renewals
Cancellations
Management of Sources
Tasking
Management responsibility
Security and welfare
Additional rules
Recording of telephone conversations
Use of covert human intelligence source with technical equipment

Chapter 5: OVERSIGHT

Chapter 6: COMPLAINTS

Annex A

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