UK/Home Office/Investigatory Powers Tribunal

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Group.png UK/Home Office/Investigatory Powers Tribunal  
Investigatory Powers Tribunal.jpg
HeadquartersLondon, UK
InterestsUK/National security, MI5, MI6, GCHQ
The UK court in charge of complaints about the UK intelligence agencies.

The Home Office Investigatory Powers Unit is a little known unit of the UK Home Office. They are "the only Tribunal to whom complaints about the Intelligence Services can be directed".[1]

Official narrative

The court is "at the forefront of our field, operating the most open and equitable process in the world for hearing cases of this sensitivity. We are the first court of our kind to establish 'inter partes' hearings in open court in the security field. These hearings allow us to hear arguments on both sides on the basis of 'assumed facts' without risk to our national security."[2]


The Register charged in 2017 that "UK Home Office's Investigatory Powers Unit (HOIPU) anonymously responded to an Ofcom consultation urging the regulator to maintain a "security"-related ban on GSM devices that help people get cheap calls abroad." The Home Office admitted to the Register that the anonymous response came from its Investigatory Powers Unit, but "suggested that its anonymity was a mere admin error."[3]


Privacy International "launched a legal challenge against the government and, in 2016, the IPT ruled the activity illegal for the time it was carried out under wraps."[4]


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