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Investigatory Powers Act 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

138Power to issue bulk interception warrants
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Secretary of State may, on an application made by or on behalf of the head of an intelligence service, issue a bulk interception warrant if—

(a)the Secretary of State considers that the main purpose of the warrant is one or more of the following—

(i)the interception of overseas-related communications, and

(ii)the obtaining of secondary data from such communications,

(b)the Secretary of State considers that the warrant is necessary—

(i)in the interests of national security, or

(ii)on that ground and on any other grounds falling within subsection (2),

(c)the Secretary of State considers that the conduct authorised by the warrant is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct,

(d)the Secretary of State considers that—

(i)each of the specified operational purposes (see section 142) is a purpose for which the examination of intercepted content or secondary data obtained under the warrant is or may be necessary, and

(ii)the examination of intercepted content or secondary data for each such purpose is necessary on any of the grounds on which the Secretary of State considers the warrant to be necessary,

(e)the Secretary of State considers that satisfactory arrangements made for the purposes of sections 150 and 151 (safeguards relating to disclosure etc.) are in force in relation to the warrant,

(f)in a case where the Secretary of State considers that a telecommunications operator outside the United Kingdom is likely to be required to provide assistance in giving effect to the warrant if it is issued, the Secretary of State has complied with section 139, and

(g)the decision to issue the warrant has been approved by a Judicial Commissioner.

For the meaning of “head of an intelligence service”, see section 263.

(2)A warrant is necessary on grounds falling within this subsection if it is necessary—

(a)for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime, or

(b)in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom so far as those interests are also relevant to the interests of national security (but see subsection (3)).

(3)A warrant may be considered necessary on the ground falling within subsection (2)(b) only if the information which it is considered necessary to obtain is information relating to the acts or intentions of persons outside the British Islands.

(4)A warrant may not be considered necessary in the interests of national security or on any other grounds falling within subsection (2) if it is considered necessary only for the purpose of gathering evidence for use in any legal proceedings.

(5)An application for the issue of a bulk interception warrant may only be made on behalf of the head of an intelligence service by a person holding office under the Crown.

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