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Challenging Surveillance

Have you or your business come under surveillance?

Kaim Todner successfully represented three brothers in a case before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (C. & Others vs. the National Crime Agency). The Tribunal found that the authorisation for surveillance had been unlawfully obtained.

The intrusion of the state into the lives of the individual is a source of much press attention; from the 'mass surveillance' as the GCHQ set out to 'master the internet' in early 2007 (see Note 1), to the controversy that surrounded the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which received Royal Assent in February. 

From the popular media, the reader would be easily forgiven for assuming that the State, through its various arms and agencies has the unfettered and unlimited ability to intrude upon us howsoever, and through whatsoever means, it may decide.

The reality is rather more complex.

Safeguards exist to ensure that surveillance applied for against individuals or businesses is legal and proportionate. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) provides the framework through which the Police (or other relevant authorities) must apply if they wish to carry out surveillance on an individual.

RIPA breaks surveillance down into different categories which require different levels of authorisation to permit their operation.

Where surveillance has been applied for through RIPA but the wrong level of surveillance has been requested (for example where directed surveillance is applied for, but intrusive surveillance conducted), there may be legal recourse through the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to challenge the legality of the surveillance altogether.

Kaim Todner have a long history of representing clients at all stages of the criminal justice process. If you discover that you or your business have been subject to surveillance Kaim Todner may be able to help you in assessing (and potentially challenging) the legality of the surveillance carried out on you.

Such actions are time-limited so it is essential that you call our offices immediately (as soon as you become aware of the surveillance) to ensure suitable action can be taken on your behalf.


  1. Ewen MacAskill, Julian Borger, Nick Hopkins, Nick Davies and James Ball, ‘Mastering the internet: how the GCHQ set out to spy on the world wide web' (Guardian Online, 21 June 2013) http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-mastering-the-internet

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