- "The Ministry had arranged this one-off connection to the Floo Network to return students quickly and safely to the school."
- —The Floo Network during the Second Wizarding War[src]
The Floo Network Authority is a Ministry of Magic board that establishes, maintains, monitors, and regulates the Floo Network. Employees of the authority have the power to observe and monitor Floo Network connections and may eavesdrop on conversations held through the Network. Such workers are known as Floo Network Regulators.
Travelling by Floo Powder through the Network means that wizards can travel from place to place without breaking the International Statute of Secrecy, without the danger of serious injury (unlike Apparition) and is suitable for children, old people, and the ill.
The Floo Network Authority is against regulations for a Muggle fireplace to be connected to the Floo Network, probably due to the likelihood of violations of the International Confederation of Wizards' Statute of Secrecy in the event of a connection becoming active.
The Floo Regulation Panel controls which fireplaces are connected to the Floo Network. This apparently cannot be done by even a qualified wizard without privileged access and/or special magical tools, because Sirius Black had to break into a wizarding house to use the Network rather than simply starting a fire in the cave where he was hiding at the time and using that.
Connecting a fireplace to the Network does not require that the Floo Network Authority visit that fireplace, and can be done temporarily for as short a period as a single afternoon, as was once done with the fireplace at number four, Privet Drive and with fireplaces at Hogwarts during Harry Potter's sixth year.
Ordinarily such a temporary connection may be difficult to arrange; Arthur Weasley had "a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel" arrange the temporary connection for number four, while the Hogwarts connection was part of a security measure to protect students returning to school after the Christmas holidays.
Monitoring Floo Conections
The Floo Network Authority maintains and regulates the Floo Network. Employees of the Floo Network Authority have the ability to monitor Floo connections, and can eavesdrop on Floo conversations in a manner analogous to wiretapping a Muggle telephone. Witches and wizards working for the Floo Network Authority are referred to as Floo Network Regulators.
Marietta Edgecombe's mother was in charge of monitoring the Hogwart's fires for unauthorised connections to the Floo Network, while Dolores Umbridge was Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts.
Madam Edgecombe works for the Floo Network Authority, and was party to the communications restrictions that the then - Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, placed on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry while Dolores Umbridge was High Inquisitor, and later Headmistress of Hogwarts.
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