Friday, April 11, 2008

Security Shitstorm

While I am perfectly happy that it appears unlikely that Poole Council passed the necessary tests in S.28(3) of RIPA for the authorisation of directed surveillance (see al-Beeb, the Torygraph and the Gruniad):

(3) An authorisation is necessary on grounds falling within this subsection if it is necessary—

(a) in the interests of national security;

(b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder;

(c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom;

(d) in the interests of public safety;

(e) for the purpose of protecting public health;

(f) for the purpose of assessing or collecting any tax, duty, levy or other imposition, contribution or charge payable to a government department; or

(g) for any purpose (not falling within paragraphs (a) to (f)) which is specified for the purposes of this subsection by an order made by the Secretary of State.

unless the evil shits that run this country have made an Order defining school entrance as so enabling, I must object to the tenor of the BBC coverage this morning and the other journalistic nonsense.  RIPA is not just for terrorists (as the mother apparently alleges) and serious crime - it covers many, many things.  For example, there has been directed surveillance for years by the DWP and its predecessors checking that invalidity benefit (and its predecessors) claimants are not working on the side, running marathons, entering martial arts competitions, etc.

Note that this is not interception (S3, 4 & 5) or 'intrusive surveillance' in S32, which aside from the limited exceptions for interception (consent, the owner of a private system etc), the requirements for justifying both of which are more severe.

While I agree with Liberty that this may be disproportionate (I am not sure using your current address on a school application and then later moving a mile counts as criminal, whatever Tim Martin thinks) but the challenge has to be on that basis, not that 'it isn't terrorism'.

Phorm, for example, mendacious charlatans that they may be, are not 'terrorists', and we certainly want RIPA to apply to them.

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