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Investigatory Powers Act 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Interception for administrative or enforcement purposes

45Interception by providers of postal or telecommunications services

(1)The interception of a communication is authorised by this section if the interception is carried out—

(a)by, or on behalf of, a person who provides a postal service or a telecommunications service, and

(b)for any of the purposes in subsection (2).

(2)The purposes referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a)purposes relating to the provision or operation of the service;

(b)purposes relating to the enforcement, in relation to the service, of any enactment relating to—

(i)the use of postal or telecommunications services, or

(ii)the content of communications transmitted by means of such services;

(c)purposes relating to the provision of services or facilities aimed at preventing or restricting the viewing or publication of the content of communications transmitted by means of postal or telecommunications services.

(3)A reference in this section to anything carried out for purposes relating to the provision or operation of a telecommunications service includes, among other things, a reference to anything done for the purposes of identifying, combating or preventing anything which could affect—

(a)any telecommunication system by means of which the service is provided, or

(b)any apparatus attached to such a system.

46Interception by businesses etc. for monitoring and record-keeping purposes

(1)Conduct is authorised by this section if it is authorised by regulations made under subsection (2).

(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations authorise conduct of a description specified in the regulations if that conduct appears to the Secretary of State to constitute a legitimate practice reasonably required for the purpose, in connection with the carrying on of any relevant activities (see subsection (4)), of monitoring or keeping a record of—

(a)communications by means of which transactions are entered into in the course of the relevant activities, or

(b)other communications relating to the relevant activities or taking place in the course of the carrying on of those activities.

(3)But nothing in any regulations under subsection (2) may authorise the interception of any communication except in the course of its transmission using apparatus or services provided by or to the person carrying on the relevant activities for use (whether wholly or partly) in connection with those activities.

(4)In this section “relevant activities” means—

(a)any business,

(b)any activities of a government department, the Welsh Government, a Northern Ireland department or any part of the Scottish Administration,

(c)any activities of a public authority, and

(d)any activities of any person or office holder on whom functions are conferred by or under any enactment.

47Postal services: interception for enforcement purposes

(1)The interception of a communication in the course of its transmission by means of a public postal service is authorised by this section if it is carried out by an officer of Revenue and Customs under section 159 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, as applied by virtue of—

(a)section 105 of the Postal Services Act 2000 (power to open postal items etc.), or

(b)that section and another enactment.

(2)The interception of a communication in the course of its transmission by means of a public postal service is authorised by this section if it is carried out under paragraph 9 of Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (port and border controls).

48Interception by OFCOM in connection with wireless telegraphy

(1)Conduct falling within subsection (2) is authorised by this section if it is carried out by OFCOM for purposes connected with a relevant matter (see subsection (3)).

(2)The conduct referred to in subsection (1) is—

(a)the interception of a communication in the course of its transmission by means of a telecommunication system;

(b)the obtaining, by or in connection with the interception, of information about the sender or recipient, or intended recipient, of the communication (whether or not a person);

(c)the disclosure of anything obtained by conduct falling within paragraph (a) or (b).

(3)Each of the following is a relevant matter for the purposes of subsection (1)

(a)the grant of wireless telegraphy licences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”);

(b)the prevention or detection of anything which constitutes interference with wireless telegraphy;

(c)the enforcement of—

(i)any provision of Part 2 (other than Chapter 2 and sections 27 to 31) or Part 3 of the 2006 Act, or

(ii)any enactment not falling within sub-paragraph (i) that relates to interference with wireless telegraphy.

(4)In this section—

  • “interference”, in relation to wireless telegraphy, has the same meaning as in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (see section 115(3) of that Act);

  • “OFCOM” means the Office of Communications established by section 1 of the Office of Communications Act 2002;

  • “wireless telegraphy” has the same meaning as in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (see section 116 of that Act).

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