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Home Office: annual report on use of "disruptive and investigatory powers" by security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies
25.7.18
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Originally published by the UK Home Office on 23 July 2018. See the report: HM Government Transparency Report 2018: Disruptive and Investigatory Powers (July 2018, pdf)
The government has published the third iteration of its transparency report on the use of disruptive and investigatory powers.

The report sets out the way in which disruptive and investigatory powers are used by the security and intelligence agencies as well as law enforcement to tackle the threats posed by terrorism, organised crime and hostile state activity.

There have been 5 terrorist attacks in the UK since the publication of the second transparency report in February 2017 and the latest iteration shows a clear increase in the use of certain disruptive and investigatory powers.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said:

  • The spate of terrorist attacks last year and the nerve agent attack earlier this year were a stark reminder of the real and significant threat this country faces from terrorism and hostile states.
  • Wherever possible we will seek to prosecute and convict those who seek to destroy our freedoms and attack our communities.
  • Where that is not possible, we have a range of tools in our toolbox to disrupt and investigate terrorism-related and hostile state activity and organised crime which are vital to ensuring our national security.

As with the previous iterations, the report brings together and gives a detailed explanation of the various disruptive and investigatory powers such as stops and searches under the Terrorism Act and proscription of terrorist organisations. It also provides extensive statistical information relating to those powers.

The government will seek to use the full range of capabilities where it is proportionate and necessary to do so.


The report contains information on the following "disruptive powers":

  • Stops and searches
  • Port and border controls
  • Terrorist asset-freezing
  • Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs)
  • Royal Prerogative
  • Seizure and temporary retention of travel documents
  • Exclusions
  • Temporary control orders
  • Deprivation of British citizenship
  • Deportation with assurances
  • Proscription
  • Closed material procedures
  • Tackling online terrorist content
  • Tackling online child sexual exploitation

And the following investigatory powers:

  • Investigatory Powers Act 2016
  • Overview of interception
  • Targeted interception warrants
  • Targeted communications data
  • Bulks communications data acquisition
  • Covert surveillance, Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) and property interference
  • Equipment interference (also known as hacking)
  • Investigation of protected electronic information
  • Bulk personal datasets

See also: previous reports (pdfs):

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