Sir Brian Leveson

Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office

IPCO provides independent oversight and authorisation of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities.

IPCO’s purpose is to oversee how these powers are used, taking account of the public interest and ensuring that investigations are conducted in accordance with the law.

Sir Brian Leveson replaced Sir Adrian Fulford as the Investigatory Powers Commissioner in October 2019. Before taking up this role, Sir Brian was President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Head of Criminal Justice for England and Wales.

  • Who we are

    Overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC), IPCO currently employs approximately 50 people, including Inspectors, lawyers, communications experts and others. The team supports the IPC and the Judicial Commissioners in fulfilling their duties under the Act.

  • What we do

    IPCO provides independent oversight of the use of investigatory powers, as outlined in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. This oversight includes the inspection and authorisation of the use of these powers by over 600 public authorities.

  • Investigatory Powers

    Investigatory powers allow certain organisations to gather information for investigative purposes, for example through surveillance techniques or the acquisition of communications data.

Recent Activity

  • Oversight of UK and USA Data Access Agreement

    New regulations have been introduced requiring the UK’s Investigatory Powers Commissioner to oversee the UK’s use of the UK-US Bilateral Data Access Agreement. The Agreement, signed by both governments in October 2019, facilitates public auth......

  • Temporary Judicial Commissioners appointed

      The Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC), Sir Brian Leveson, has now appointed ten temporary Judicial Commissioners under the Coronavirus Act 2020.   Intelligence agencies, police and other public bodies must have their use of investigat......

  • Coronavirus Act 2020: maintaining oversight of investigatory powers

    The Coronavirus Act 2020 allows the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to appoint temporary Judicial Commissioners and permits the time periods for urgent warrants to be extended. The Commissioner, Sir Brian Leveson, wrote to the Home Secretary on 26 Marc......