RIPA surveillance and journalists (1)

MQT on 2015-10-21
Session date: 
October 21, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Thank you for your answer to my question 2015/2698 regarding journalists' communications data. Can you explain how you identify a 'journalist' when using a RIPA authorisation during an investigation, in order to ensure that any requests relating to them are excluded from RIPA and "obtained through a PACE order"?


Answer for RIPA surveillance and journalists (1)

Answer for RIPA surveillance and journalists (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Applicants are required to complete a comprehensive form which needs to incorporate the fullest details of the subject about who they are requesting communications data, if they are known. This includes a specific checklist for privileged occupations such as lawyer, doctor, minister of religion or Member of Parliament. The IT workflow system immediately alerts the SPOC, Supervisor and Designated Person that the application relates to someone who occupies a privileged occupation. In the case of journalists the appropriate decision making can then take place to determine whether the application requires a judicial order, namely a Production Order, or not. The latter would be the case if the journalist is a victim or suspect in a case wholly unconnected to their profession or the pursuit of journalism. In all cases the identification of someone in a privileged occupation enables all decision makers to more carefully consider ECHR rights and take steps to minimise collateral intrusion.