IMSI catcher guidance

Eric King made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I request all guidelines, presentations, policy statements, legal opinions, memoranda, briefs, training manuals, emails and any other documents including communications and procurements relating to the use of "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.

I specifically request documents regarding:

1) the legality of law enforcement use of "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.
2) communications with telecommunication providers such as mobile network operators about, or that mention, "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.
3) agreements (both formal and informal) with telecommunication providers such as mobile network operators about, or that mention, "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.
4) how frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices have been used by law enforcement, with a breakdown per year.
5) guides, manuals, policy statements, memoranda, presentations, or other materials detailing what procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.
6) contracts, requests for proposals, or purchase orders for any "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.

As per Section 4a of Part 1 of the FOI Act I would like the information in question held at the time when my request is received (draft or otherwise), except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion made between now and the latest time by which the information is to be communicated to me, being an amendment or deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of my request.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, or specific items within the responses are withheld from disclosure, then you must justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the Act, as per Section 17 of the FOI Act. Where you rely on a qualified exemption to withhold disclosure, you are obliged to consider the public interest in your decision and the refusal notice must explain not only which exemption applies and why, but also the public interest arguments addressed in reaching the decision.

I would be grateful if you would kindly acknowledge receipt of this request as recommended by the ICO ("It would be good practice to acknowledge receipt of requests and to refer to the 20 working day time limit, so that applicants know their request is being dealt with").

Yours faithfully,

Eric King
Privacy International

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011100003497
I respond in connection with your request for information dated 22/10/2011
which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 22/10/2011.
 I note you seek access to the following information:

I request all guidelines, presentations, policy statements, legal
opinions, memoranda, briefs, training manuals, emails and any other    
documents including communications and procurements relating to the use of
"IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base     transceiver
stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and
tracking devices.        
I specifically request documents regarding:        
1) the legality of law enforcement use of "IMSI catchers", "cell site
simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers”
or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.    
2) communications with telecommunication providers such as mobile network
operators about, or that mention, "IMSI catchers", "cell     site
simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers”
or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking     devices.    
3) agreements (both formal and informal) with telecommunication providers
such as mobile network operators about, or that mention,     "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations",
“mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone     surveillance and
tracking devices.    
4) how frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar     mobile phone
surveillance and tracking devices have been used by law enforcement, with
a breakdown per year.    
5) guides, manuals, policy statements, memoranda, presentations, or other
materials detailing what procedures law enforcement must follow before
using "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver
stations", “mobile phone jammers” or     similar mobile phone surveillance
and tracking devices.    
6) contracts, requests for proposals, or purchase orders for any "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver    
stations", “mobile phone jammers” or similar mobile phone surveillance and
tracking devices.        

As per Section 4a of Part 1 of the FOI Act I would like the information in
question held at the time when my request is received (draft or
otherwise), except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion
made between now and the latest time by which the information is to be
communicated to me, being an amendment or deletion that would have been
made regardless of the receipt of my request.        

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline.  If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on telephone number 020 7230 4019 quoting our reference number.

Yours sincerely

Peter Royan-Posse
Case Investigation Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011100003497

I respond in connection with your request for information dated 22/10/2011
which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 22/10/2011.
 I note you seek access to the following information:

I request all guidelines, presentations, policy statements, legal
opinions, memoranda, briefs, training manuals, emails and any other    
documents including communications and procurements relating to the use of
"IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base     transceiver
stations", "mobile phone jammers" or similar mobile phone surveillance and
tracking devices.        
I specifically request documents regarding:
         
1) the legality of law enforcement use of "IMSI catchers", "cell site
simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", "mobile phone jammers"
or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.
     
2) communications with telecommunication providers such as mobile network
operators about, or that mention, "IMSI catchers", "cell     site
simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations", "mobile phone jammers"
or similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking     devices.
     
3) agreements (both formal and informal) with telecommunication providers
such as mobile network operators about, or that mention,     "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations",
"mobile phone jammers" or similar mobile phone     surveillance and
tracking devices.
   
4) how frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations", "mobile phone jammers" or similar mobile phone
surveillance and tracking devices have been used by law enforcement, with
a breakdown per year.
     
5) guides, manuals, policy statements, memoranda, presentations, or other
materials detailing what procedures law enforcement must follow before
using "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver
stations", "mobile phone jammers" or similar mobile phone surveillance and
tracking devices.
   
6) contracts, requests for proposals, or purchase orders for any "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver    
stations", "mobile phone jammers" or similar mobile phone surveillance and
tracking devices.        

As per Section 4a of Part 1 of the FOI Act I would like the information in
question held at the time when my request is received (draft or
otherwise), except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion
made between now and the latest time by which the information is to be
communicated to me, being an amendment or deletion that would have been
made regardless of the receipt of my request.    
     
This email is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to
your request within the cost threshold.

To identify, locate and retrieve all the requested documents would exceed
the permitted time/costs permitted for a Freedom of Information request.

e.g. this would entail a review of all communications from all
telecommunication providers for references to IMSI catchers, cell site
simulators, virtual base transceiver stations, mobile phone jammers or
similar mobile phone surveillance and tracking devices.

The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for agencies
outside central Government; this is set at **450.00.  
This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours [at a
rate of **25 per hour] in determining whether the MPS holds the
information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts
as a Refusal Notice.

Section 17(5) of the Act provides:
(5) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is relying on a claim that section 12 or 14 applies must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that
fact.

Section 12 of the Act provides:
(1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.

Under Section 16 (duty to assist) we are required to offer you the
opportunity to redefine your request within the cost limit.  
Due to the extensive nature of your request we are unable to suggest an
alternative which could be achieved within the cost limit.
 
If however you are able to redefine your request to a more manageable
degree, we must emphasis that this does not mean that the MPS have
ascertained whether we hold any information regarding this request.

Some of information you seek is in a sensitive area and under the Freedom
of Information Act it is possible that we will rely on our right to
neither confirm nor deny its existence or place other exemptions on it.

The attached document may be of interest to you:
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/polici...

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on telephone number 020 7230 4019 quoting our reference number.

Yours sincerely

Peter Royan-Posse
Case Investigation Officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Thank you for your response. As requested, I have narrowed my request to documents regarding:

1) what procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to, guides, manuals, policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) how frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used by the Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year.

Yours faithfully,

Eric King
Privacy International

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Act Request Reference No: 2011110001120
I respond in connection with your request for information dated 8th
November 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver     stations"
or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used     by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year.    

This is to inform you that I cannot identify any specific records /
documents that will satisfy your request based on the details you have
provided.  To enable the MPS to meet your request could you please provide
this office with further information.  I provide some guidance that may
assist you more clearly describe the information you require.  Please can
you provide a timeframe when you ask for a breakdown per year, a start and
end date is required.

After receiving your reply, your request will then be considered and you
will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of
20 working days, subject to the information not being exempt or containing
a reference to a third party.

However, if the requested additional information has not been received by
6th December 2011 I will assume you no longer wish to proceed with this
request and will treat it as withdrawn.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2372 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely,

James Young
SCD Information Manager
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

More information about IMSI Catchers and their acquisition by the Metropolitan Police Service can be found in this recent guardian article stated: "A document seen by the Guardian shows the Metropolitan police paid £143,455 to Datong for "ICT hardware" in 2008/09. In 2010 the 37-year-old company, which has been publicly listed since October 2005, reported its pro forma revenue in the UK was £3.9m, and noted that "a good position is being established with new law enforcement customer groups". In February 2011 it was paid £8,373 by Hertfordshire Constabulary according to a transaction report released under freedom of information."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/30...

To clarify the timeframe, I request a breakdown per year with a start date for the breakdown of 1st Jan 2001 and end date is today.

Please let me know if there is any information you require.

Yours faithfully,

Eric King

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Act Request Reference No: 2011110001120
I respond in connection with your request for information dated 8th
November 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver     stations"
or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.
2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used     by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year.    

Reclarified by yourself on 12th November 2011 as:

To clarify the timeframe, I request a breakdown per year with a start date
for the breakdown of 1st Jan 2001 and end date is today (12th November
2011).

show quoted sections

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011110001120
I respond in connection with your request for information dated 8th
November 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver     stations"
or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used     by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year.    
Reclarified by yourself on 12th November 2011 as:
To clarify the timeframe, I request a breakdown per year with a start date
for the breakdown of 1st Jan 2001 and end date is today (12th November
2011).

Further to our correspondence dated 14th November 2011 the MPS has not
received a response to our request for further information.  

Under Section 1, subsection 3 (a) & (b) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (the Act) we are not obliged to pursue this request unless we receive
the further information required to locate the requested information.

Section 1 (3) (a) & (b) of the Act provides:

(3) Where a public authority-
(a) reasonably requires further information in order to identify and
locate the information requested, and
(b) has informed the applicant of that requirement,
the authority is not obliged to comply with subsection (1) unless it is
supplied with that further information.

As we have not received a response from you we will now consider this
request withdrawn.
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2372 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

James Young
SCD Information Manager
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Your request for further information was made on the 8th November, to which I replied on the 12th November and you acknowledged on the 14th November.

You did not request any further information in your letter dated 14th November.

I have responded to every request for further information and I believe your decision to withdraw my request an error. I kindly ask you to reexamine and respond to my request.

Yours faithfully,

Eric King

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

I am sorry if my email to you on 14th November was unclear in any way. I have re-pasted the line of text from my email to you for clarity:

"Unfortunately it is not possible to use the 12th November 2011 as the end date as it is after the date that you made the initial request on.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (the Act) the "cut off" for searches to be made ends on the day the request is made. Therefore the latest date that I can make searches up to is 8th November 2011.

Please can you confirm that this end date is acceptable."

If you provide me with the requested information I asked for above I will log this as a new request.

Yours sincerely

James Young
SCD Information Manager

show quoted sections

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

My apologies. The end date of 8th November 2011 is acceptable.

Yours faithfully,

Eric King

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011120002742
I respond in connection with your request for information dated 19th
December 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver     stations"
or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used     by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year with a start date
of 1st Jan 2001 and an end date of 8th November 2011.

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party.  In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline.  If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2372 quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

James Young
SCD Information Manager
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011120002742

I write in connection with your request for information dated 19th
December 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:
1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver     stations"
or "mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used     by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year with a start date
of 1st Jan 2001 and an end date of 8th November 2011.

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated. As a result we
will not be able to respond within 20 working days.
I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 16th
February 2012.
May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 020 7230 2372 or at the address at the top of this letter,
quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

James Young
SCD Information Manager
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr King,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011120002742

I respond in connection with your request for information dated 19th
December 2011 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
on the same date.  I note you seek access to the following information:

1) What procedures law enforcement must follow before using "IMSI
catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base transceiver stations" or
"mobile phone jammers" including but not limited to guides, manuals,
policy statements, memoranda and presentations.

2) How frequently "IMSI catchers", "cell site simulators", "virtual base
transceiver stations" or "mobile phone jammers" have been used by the
Metropolitan Police Service, with a breakdown per year with a start date
of 1st Jan 2001 and an end date of 8th November 2011.

DECISION

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), this
email represents a Refusal Notice for this particular request under
Section 17(1).  

The MPS can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you
requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Act does not apply, by
virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 23(5) - Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security
bodies
Section 24(2) - National Security
Section 30(3) - Investigations and proceedings conducted by public
authorities
Section 31(3) - Law enforcement

Details of these exemptions are included in the Legal Annex below.

Section 23(5) is an absolute exemption and I am not required to provide a
prejudice or public interest test on the application of this exemption.

Harm

Any disclosure under the Act is a disclosure to the world at large, and
confirming or denying the use of specialist techniques which may or may
not exist, and which (should they exist) the MPS may or may not deploy in
specific circumstances would prejudice law enforcement.

If the requested information was held by the MPS, confirmation of this
fact would reveal that the police have access to sophisticated
communications analysis techniques. This would be damaging as it would (i)
limit operational capabilities as criminals/terrorists would gain a
greater understanding of the MPS's methods and techniques, enabling them
to take steps to counter them; and (ii) provide an indication to any
individual who may be undertaking criminal/terrorist activities that the
MPS may be aware of their presence and taking measures against them.

Conversely, if information was not held by the MPS, and a denial was
issued, this would reveal to those same individuals that their activities
are unlikely to have been detected by the MPS. It may also suggest
(whether correctly or not) the limitations of police capabilities in this
area, which may further encourage criminal/terrorist activity by exposing
a potential vulnerability

To confirm or deny whether any information is held regarding a specialised
technique, would disclose the levels of police activity and confirm that
this technique is, or was, used in ongoing investigations. This would
consequently be detrimental to our ability to be able deal with the
on-going criminal and terrorist threat we face across the country.  
It is standard policy not to disclose whether specialised techniques of
this kind has or has not been utilised.

This detrimental effect is increased if the request is made to several
different law enforcement bodies. In addition to the local criminal
fraternity now being better informed, those intent on organised crime
throughout the UK will be able to 'map' where the use of certain tactics
are or are not deployed.

To confirm or deny that this level of policing interest has or has not
occurred in any specific area would enable those engaged in criminal
activity to identify the focus of policing targets. The release of such
information would reveal policing tactics regarding who was of interest to
the police generally. This would be to the detriment of providing an
efficient policing service and a failure in providing a duty of care to
all members of the public.

For example, to state that no information is held in one area and then
exempt information held in another would itself provide acknowledgement
that investigations are being conducted at that second location.  This
would have the likelihood of identifying location-specific operations,
enabling individuals to become aware of whether their activities have been
detected and what tactics were being utilized by the Police against them.
 
For example, if a criminal group knew they were being investigated for
fraud, this would lead to them going 'underground' destroying evidence or
moving their operations to different locations or avoiding those areas
where police activity is concentrated. This would ultimately compromise
police tactics, operations and future prosecutions. Any information
identifying the focus of policing activity could be used to the advantage
of criminal organisations.

Information that undermines the operational integrity of these activities
will adversely affect public safety and have a negative impact on both
national security and law enforcement.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 24(2)

The public is entitled to know where their public funds are being spent
and a better informed public can take steps to protect themselves.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 24(2)

Confirming or denying the use of specialist techniques could render
security measures less effective. This could lead to the compromise of
ongoing or future operations to protect the security of the UK and
increase the risk of harm to the public

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 30(3)

The issue of surveillance and criminal activity is a highly emotive
subject area which often attracts high profile media and public interest
connotations.  Confirmation or denial that information exists regarding
certain techniques could provide reassurance to the general public that
the monitoring of criminal activity is conducted appropriately. The
release of such information would provide an insight into the MPS and
enable the public to have better understanding of the effectiveness of the
police. The release of information could allow the public to make informed
decisions about police procedures and the money spent in this business
area.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 30(3)

By confirming or denying whether any information is held in respect of any
specialised technique would hinder the prevention or detection of crime.
This would impact on police resources and more crime would be committed,
placing individuals at risk. There would be a loss of confidence in the
MPS to protect the well-being of the community.

If criminals were aware that their activity was being investigated they
would move their operations. This would increase the risk of terrorists
and other criminals remaining undiscovered and there would be substantial
harm to the public if their criminal activities were allowed to continue
undetected.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for Section 31(3)

By confirming or denying whether any information is held in respect of a
specialist technique the public would see where public funds are being
spent and would be able to take steps to protect themselves and their
families.
 
Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from
the public as they would be more observant in reporting suspicious
activity.

Factors against confirmation or denial for Section 31(3)

By confirming or denying whether any information is held in respect of a
specialist technique law enforcement tactics would be compromised which
would hinder the prevention and detection of crime. More crime would be
committed and individuals would be placed at risk which would impact on
police resources.

Balance test

The MPS is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime
and protecting the communities we serve. The security of the country is of
paramount importance and the MPS will not divulge whether information is
or is not held if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk
or undermine National Security.

Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of policing
operations and providing assurance that the MPS is appropriately and
effectively engaging with the threat posed by those with a criminal
intent, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding both
national security and the integrity of police investigations and
operations in this highly sensitive area.
 
As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is
appropriate and balanced in matters of national security this will only be
overridden in exceptional circumstances.

Therefore it is our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for
confirming or denying whether any other information is held regarding
these techniques is not made out. This argument is obviously transferable
to all police tactics.

There is also no requirement to satisfy any public concern over the
legality of police operations and the tactics we may or may not use. The
MPS is already held to account by statute, for example the Police and
Criminal Evidence Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and
independent bodies such as Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the
Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Office of the
Surveillance Commissioner. Our accountability is therefore not enhanced by
confirming or denying that any information is held.

However, this should not be taken as necessarily indicating that any
information that would meet your request does or does not exist.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please email
or contact me on telephone number 020 7230 2372 quoting the reference
number above.  

Yours sincerely,

James Young
SCD Information Manager

Legal Annex

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information,
is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating
to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim
that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying
with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 23(5) of the Act provides:

(5) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) which was directly or
indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to, any of the
bodies specified in subsection (3).

Section 24(2) of the Act provides:

(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
exemption from section 1(1)(a) is required for the purpose of safeguarding
national security.

Section 30(3) of the Act provides:

(3)The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

Section 31(3) of the Act provides:

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.  

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
 Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).