Interception of communications and equipment interference: draft codes of practice

Draft codes of practice for interception of communications and equipment interference, including amendments following public consultation.

This publication was withdrawn on

This document was withdrawn on 5 April 2016. Updated codes of practice are available.



The updated interception of communications code of practice reflects developments in the law since the code was brought into force in 2002. It also provides more information on the safeguards that apply to the security and law enforcement agencies’ exercise of interception powers. This draft includes amendments made following a public consultation.

The draft equipment interference code of practice explains the circumstances and procedures that must be followed before the security and intelligence agencies can interfere with electronic equipment, such as computers, and the rules that must apply to the processing, retention, destruction and disclosure of any information obtained by interference. This draft includes amendments following a public consultation.

Together, these codes of practice make more information publicly available about the stringent safeguards that the security and intelligence agencies apply in their use of investigatory powers and how the security and intelligence agencies are held to account by the independent commissioners who oversee their activity.

Following parliamentary scrutiny we have now published final versions of the interception of communications code of practice and the equipment interference code of practice.

Published 4 November 2015