Monday, 23 June 2008

BBC NEWS | UK | Councils warned over spying laws

BBC NEWS | UK | Councils warned over spying laws

I suppose it's time that the government started pulling back those local authorities hell bent on using technologies to penalise people who put too much rubbish in their wheely-bins but this doesn't deal with the root problem - RIPA.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) gives "government" powers to intercept electronic communications and to insist that ISPs hand over records of communications and copies.

The long title of the act is:

An Act to make provision for and about the interception of communications, the acquisition and disclosure of data relating to communications, the carrying out of surveillance, the use of covert human intelligence sources and the acquisition of the means by which electronic data protected by encryption or passwords may be decrypted or accessed; to provide for the establishment of a tribunal with jurisdiction in relation to those matters, to entries on and interferences with property or with wireless telegraphy and to the carrying out of their functions by the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Headquarters; and for connected purposes.
Of course an issue here is who might be regarded to be "government" - and that's what has led to Poole Borough Council using RIPA to snoop on parents to determine whether they really lived in the catchment area of a particular school or a number of councils using RIPA to investigate dog fouling.

While RIPA is in place we are all at risk of a major erosion of our civil liberties on the most spurious grounds. This law is as invideous as 42 days without trial. If you've not heard of RIPA I suggest that you check out exactly what it means and, more importantly, who it allows to have access to your life.

0 careful considerations: