- "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 was a Ministry of Magic board that established, maintained, monitored, and regulated the Floo Network. Employees of the authority had the power to observe and monitor Floo Network connections, and could eavesdrop on conversations held through the Network. Such workers were known as Floo Network Regulators.
Travelling by Floo Powder through the Network meant that wizards could travel from place to place without breaking the International Statute of Secrecy, without the danger of serious injury (unlike Apparition), and was suitable for children, old people, and the ill.
The Floo Network Authority was 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 controlled which fireplaces were connected to the Floo Network. This apparently could not 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 did not require the Floo Network Authority to visit that fireplace, and could be done temporarily for as short a period as a single afternoon, as was once done with the fireplace at 4 Privet Drive and with fireplaces at Hogwarts during Harry Potter's sixth year.
Ordinarily, such a temporary connection would be difficult to arrange; Arthur Weasley had "a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel" arrange the temporary connection for 4 Privet Drive, 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 maintained and regulated the Floo Network. Employees of the Floo Network Authority had the ability to monitor Floo connections, and could eavesdrop on Floo conversations in a manner analogous to wiretapping a Muggle telephone. Witches and wizards working for the Floo Network Authority were referred to as Floo Network Regulators.
Marietta Edgecombe's mother was in charge of monitoring the Hogwarts fires for unauthorised connections to the Floo Network while Dolores Umbridge was Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts.
Madam Edgecombe worked 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 the school.
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