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Interception of Communications - Briefing Note for Taoiseach

Interception of Communications - Briefing Note for Taoiseach

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Published by TJ McIntyre
This is a 2007 document released under FOI by the Irish Department of Justice describing the interception of communications system for the Taoiseach (Prime Minister),
This is a 2007 document released under FOI by the Irish Department of Justice describing the interception of communications system for the Taoiseach (Prime Minister),

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: TJ McIntyre on Aug 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/07/2013

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Lawful Interce
1. LawfulInterceptionRegime
1.1 The lawful interception of both telecommunications ('phone taping') and postis statutorily governed by the provisions of the Interception of Postal Packetsand Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993.1.2 The 1993 Act provides that only the Minister for Justice, Equality and LawReform may grant authorisations to intercept and then only for the purposes of the investigation of serious crime and in the interests of the security of theState. Only the Garda Commissioner and the Chief of Staff of the DefenceForces are entitled to apply for such authorisations, and the latter can do soonly with the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.1.4 The 1993 Act also provides for statutory complaints and oversight functions inthe form of a 'Complaints Referee' and a 'Designated Judge', respectively.Complaints
Referee
1.5 The Complaints Referee - currently a Judge of the Circuit Court, Mr JusticeCarroll Moran - is charged with investigating complaints of contravention of the 1993 Act made by persons who believed that their messages may have been intercepted unlawfully. The Complaints Referee has statutory powers of access to all documentation in all relevant organisations.1.6 If the Complaints Referee upholds a complaint, he may, inter alia:inform the complainant of this;report his findings to the Taoiseach;if he thinks fit either quash the authorisation and/or direct thedestruction of the copies of the communications intercepted and/or recommend the payment of a sum in compensation.Designated Judge1.7 The Designated Judge - a Judge of the High Court (currently Mr Thomas C.Smyth) - is charged with keeping under review the operation of the 1993 Act,of ascertaining whether its provisions are being complied with and of 
 
reporting to the Taoiseach on ,these matters at least once per annum. '.TheDesignated Judge's role is o~~ of general oversight rather than in resPonse toindividual complaints.1.8 The Designated Judge has statutory powers of access to all documentation inall relevant organisations. In all his reports to the Taoiseach to date, theDesigned Judge has confirmed his satisfaction with the operation of the 1993
Act.
2 .
2.12.32.42.5

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