For harrassment, read surveillance too

Mission creep has also infected RIPA the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to epidemic levels. Intended as an anti-terrorist and anti serious crime measure to be used by the police and security service, its use has spread from monitoring terrorists suspects, fraudsters and stalkers to dog fouling, littering, people on the sick, and lying about addresses for schools admissions etc etc. The rot started when Home Secretary David Blunkett extended the Act’s powers to councils and the like in 2003, resulting in an increase in applications to use it from 9 in 2000 to 792 this year, including 474 from councils, according to a pretty full Wikipedia account. Now, fearing public uproar, the councils’ representative body has called a halt. A neat distinction is made by Alice Miles in the Times between the open use of CCTV and secret snooping. The public don’t mind the former but loathe the latter, it seems.
RIPA applies to NI of course and there are lots of web entries about the rules for its use; but I can’t find any claims like those above. Do tell, if you’ve been subject to the snooper’s charter specifically under RIPA.

  • Mr Johnson is shaping up to be a far better embodiment of the fight against petty authoritarianism than Mr Davis.

    After allowing the resignation of James McGrath?


  • Sorry my quote is from the piece in your link by Alice Miles in the Times.

  • joeCanuck

    George Orwell must have a large grin on his face.
    So, what if he was out by 20 years or so?

  • Joe ssshhh! someone could be watching or listening.

  • Rockwell

    I always feel like somone is wtching me.

  • Damian O’Loan

    It is indeed “creepy”, as Marina Hyde says in an excellent article in today’s Guardian:

    That no impact has been made on crime, having spent public funds on over million cameras, and then the other surveillance in operation, means the Labour government has serious explaining to do. Unfortunately, I doubt the Tories will change this policy.

    It seems that when technology is offered, governments just can’t say no. To think of some of this technology in the hands of some of those who use it is disgusting.

  • The Raven

    Slightly O/T, I’m amazed that the few fixed speed cameras in the Belfast area have remained untouched to date. Or perhaps they are f**ked over every weekend, but provide such a stream of revenue that they are fixed, post haste….

    A personal favourite site of mine is

    ….not that I would ever encourage such behaviour.