An Roinn Cumarsaide,Fuinnimh agus Acmhainni NadurthaBaile Atha Cliath 2.Department of Communications,Energy and Natural ResourcesDublin 2.
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September 2011Mr. T J McIntyreDigital Rights Ireland
Dear Mr. McIntyre1refer further to your recent request under section 7 of the Freedom ofInformation Act 1997 and2003 requesting records relating to the lawful interception and illegal interception of communications. I wish to advise that following consideration of the matter I have decided to partgrant your request.With regard to that part of your request for all records from 1 January 2001 onwards held by theDepartment relating to either (a) the lawful interception of communications, or(b) legislative measures intended to address the unlawful interception of communications, and inparticular the matters set out in paragraphs 1 and 5 of your request, I would advise as follows.Lawful interception is governed by the provisions of the Interception of Postal Packets andTelecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993. Section 12 of that Act restricts thedisclosure of the existence of authorisations to the minimum necessary, where 'necessary' meansnecessary for the purpose of the prevention or detection of serious offences or in the interests of the security of the State. Section 32(1)(a) of the Freedom ofInformation Act 1997, as amended,provides that a request for access shall be refused if, inter alia, the disclosure of the recordconcerned is prohibited by any enactment, other than a provision specified in the Third Scheduleof the Freedom of Information Act, as amended. As the Interception of Postal Packets andTelecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 is not listed in the Third Schedule, accessto any records in respect of lawful interceptions is refused, by virtue of section 12 of the 1993 Actand under section 32(1)(a) of the Freedom ofInformation Act, as amended.In reaching my decision to refuse these parts of your request, I am also relying on the followingsections of the Freedom of Information Act and am of the opinion that revealing information inrespect of interceptions would be prejudicial to the public interest:-• Sections 23(1)(a)(i), 23(1)(a)(ii), 23(1)(a)(iii), 23(1)(aa), 23(1)(c) and• Sections 24(1)(a), 24(1)(b), 24(2)(a)(i) and 24(2)(a)(ii).In reaching my decision I have also taken into account the provisions of section 23(2) and 24(3)of the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, which precludes me from disclosing theexistence or non existence of records to which section 23(1) and 24(1) of the Act applies.
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