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The Divisional Court has handed down an important decision about the security and intelligence services’ reliance on ‘general warrants’ under the Intelligence Services Act 1994.

The Court held that a ‘general warrant’ that did not specify the property targeted required express statutory authority, which was not present in the 1994 Act. The Secretary of State may not make ‘general warrants’ for certain types of property interference, including computer hacking that causes damage to property.

Ben Jaffey QC and Tom Cleaver represented Privacy International.

Sir James Eadie QC represented the Security and Intelligence Services.

The judgment can be found here.

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