Covert intelligence sources
Covert intelligence sources

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Covert intelligence sources
  • Covert intelligence sources under RIPA 2000, Part II
  • Surveillance
  • Covert
  • Directed surveillance
  • Intrusive surveillance
  • Covert human intelligence sources
  • Authorisation for directed surveillance
  • Authorisation for covert human intelligence sources
  • Authorisation for intrusive surveillance
  • more

Although the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA 2016) when brought into force in its entirety, will overhaul the existing legal framework governing the use of covert surveillance by public bodies, a framework which at present is largely, but not exclusively, set out by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA 2000), it does not alter the rules regulating the use of covert intelligence sources which remain governed by RIPA 2000.

The Government has updated the two RIPA 2000 Codes of Practice relating to covert intelligence sources to reflect changes to the oversight of investigatory powers made under IPA 2016, including oversight by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

See Practice Note: Scrutiny of intelligence gathering and the role of commissioners under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

Covert intelligence sources under RIPA 2000, Part II

RIPA 2000, Pt II, provides the framework for authorising three types of surveillance. The legislation is applied in conjunction with the Covert Surveillance and Property Surveillance Code of Practice and the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice. The three types of surveillance are:

  1. directed surveillance

  2. intrusive surveillance

  3. covert human intelligence sources

This part of RIPA 2000 therefore regulates the use of bugging and other forms of surveillance, informants and undercover police officers.

The provisions do not impose a requirement on public authorities to seek or obtain an authorisation where,