This section of the GOV.UK site contains publications from various departments on aspects of the UK government’s counter-terrorism policies and procedures.
The Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) was established on 1 September 2017 to provide independent regulation and oversight of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities. It replaces the Intelligence Services Commissioner’s Office, the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office and the Office of Surveillance Commissioners. Initial site content includes announcements, contact details, and information on its function and responsibilities.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) was established under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. It investigates and determines complaints of unlawful use of covert techniques by public authorities (such as interception, surveillance and property interference) infringing the right to privacy and claims against intelligence or law enforcement agency conduct which breaches a wider range of human rights. Besides information and forms relating to the complaint procedure, and the texts of IPT rulings and judgments, the web site provides links to relevant legislation and codes of practice.
The Office of Surveillance Commissioners (OSC) is an independent judge-based body responsible for overseeing the use of covert surveillance by designated public authorities based in the UK, and by the Police and Customs operating within the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus. There are links to relevant Acts, Statutory Instruments, codes of practice and annual reports.
Please note that as from September 2017, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office has taken over some of the functions of the Office of Surveillance Commissioners. In time, the new IPCO website will host relevant information from the former organisations that have now become IPCO.
Privacy International is an independent non-governmental organisation founded in 1990 to protect personal privacy. Resources on its web site have an emphasis on surveillance matters and include: recent news articles from around the world on privacy and Privacy International reports. Under “Legal Actions” there is a list of legal actions Privacy International has taken against governments and companies. Some of these have related documents available.
The Security Service, familiarly known as MI5, is responsible for protecting the UK against covertly organised threats to national security. The “How we work” section provides information on ministerial, parliamentary and judicial oversight of the Service, with links to relevant legislation. There is also a “News” section that contains press releases and speeches.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry is an independent public inquiry into the conduct of undercover policing in England and Wales since 1968. It was established by the Home Secretary on 12 March 2015, chaired initially by Sir Christopher Pitchford and since 25 July 2017 by Sir John Mitting. Content on its official site includes contact details, terms of reference, FAQs, transcripts of hearings, updates, directions, rulings and orders.