(2) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this section if
(a) the communication is intercepted in obedience to a warrant issued by the Secretary of State under section 2 below; or
(b) that person has reasonable grounds for believing that the person to whom, or the person by whom, the communication is sent has consented to the interception.
(3) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this section if
(a) the communication is intercepted for purposes connected with the provision of postal or public telecommunication services or with the enforcement of any enactment relating to the user of those services; or
(b) the communication is being transmitted by wireless telegraphy and is intercepted, with the authority of the Secretary of State, for purposes connected with the issue of licences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 or the prevention or detection of interference with wireless telegraphy.
(4) No proceedings in respect of an offence under this section shall be instituted--
(a) in England and Wales, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
(b) In Northern Ireland, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
(2) The Secretary of State shall not issue a warrant under this section unless he considers that the warrant is necessary--
(a) in the interests of national security;
(b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime or;
(c) for the purpose of safeguarding the economic well being of the United Kingdom.
(3) The matters to be taken into account in considering whether a warrant is necessary as mentioned in subsection (2) above shall include whether the information which it is considered necessary to acquire could reasonably be acquired by other means.
(4) A warrant shall not be considered necessary as mentioned in subsection (2)(c) above unless the information which it is considered necessary to acquire is information relating to the acts or intentions of persons outside the British Islands.
(5) References in the following provisions of this Act to a warrant are references to a warrant under this section.
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