Briefing Note: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

We have produced a briefing document on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), the main surveillance legislation that is used by public authorities, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies. The briefing can be accessed here.


RIPA governs the use of covert surveillance powers. In 2012 the Protection of Freedoms Act was introduced, partly to solve some of the issues created by the legislation, such as the use of intrusive surveillance for minor issues. Many problems still remain and the need to enact serious reform is now more pressing than ever.


  1. RIPA was drafted for a pre-social media age, it is now woefully outdated.
  2. More transparency is needed around how RIPA powers are used, including the way that authorisations to use the powers are approved.
  3. RIPA’s oversight mechanisms are in need of reform.
  4. Members of the public should be able to seek redress if they have been subject to surveillance.