The Tribunal can not investigate conduct by law enforcement agencies that does not relate to interception, intrusive surveillance, entry onto or interference with property or wireless telegraphy, directed surveillance or use of Covert Human Intelligence Sources. If you wish to complain about conduct that does not relate to any of these matters, you should contact the organisation concerned, or the relevant complaints body
Many organisations included under RIPA only have access to a limited number of the powers included in RIPA. Local Councils for instance, can only carry out directed surveillance and CHIS. If you are not sure whether the organisation you are complaining about holds particular powers under RIPA, please contact us.
The Tribunal has no jurisdiction to investigate complaints about private individuals or companies unless you believe they are acting on behalf of an intelligence agency, law enforcement body or other public authority covered by RIPA.
If for instance, you work in the private sector and you believe your employer has hired a private investigator to keep you under surveillance, this is not something the Tribunal can consider.
The Tribunal is not able to provide information on request. Its function is to consider that any conduct covered by RIPA has been properly authorised and carried out in accordance with appropriate guidelines. It can not give a “yes or no” answer as to whether a person is under surveillance or the subject of intelligence targeting.
If you want to see any information that is held on you by a particular organisation, you should make a Subject Access Request (SAR) to that organisation under the Data Protection Act. If this is not successful, you may be able to appeal to the Information Tribunal. SARs can be made to the Tribunal as well.
Under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a person is entitled to request information of a public authority. Section 3 of the Act defines a “public authority” as any body which, any person who, or the holder of any office which –
i) is listed in Schedule 1, or
ii) is designated by order under Section 5.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is neither listed in Schedule 1 nor designated under section 5 of the Act. Consequently the Tribunal is not covered by the definition of a Public Authority under the Act and therefore is not required to action requests for information under this Act.