Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Grim Ripa

The Grim Ripa
"The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.

In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed
."

Adolf Hitler

Wise words indeed!

It is "reassuring" to see that our local councils (those organs of the Nanny state which, as you know, I have such a high "respect" for) are testing out Herr Shickelgruber's ideas at this very minute.

Following on from last week's story about Poole council using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) to spy on a family, over the non terrorist issue of school catchment areas, it transpires that other local councils have been invoking Ripa for spy missions too.

Were they invoking Ripa to counteract possible terrorist threats?

No!

They invoked Ripa, and spied on their voters to investigate petty offences such as dog fouling, under-age smoking and breaches of planning regulations.

Councils and other public bodies are using Ripa (anti terrorist legislation) to spy on people, obtain their telephone records and find out who they are emailing.

Did you know they could do all of that?

In 2007 councils and government departments made 12,494 applications for "directed surveillance", according to figures released by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner. This was almost double the number for the previous year.

Ironically, applications from police and other law enforcement agencies fell during the same period, to about 19,000. One local government body stated that councils and other public bodies would soon carry out more surveillance than the police.

That's reassuring isn't it?

Ripa is now being used by councils to spy on otherwise law-abiding people committing minor offences such as; fly-tipping, failing to pick up dog mess and to gather evidence that can be used to instigate fines.

Gosport borough council is currently using Ripa for an undercover investigation into dog fouling. Council officers equipped with digital cameras and binoculars are spying on dog walkers.

Chris Davis, the council's head of internal audit, said without irony:

"We have strategically placed members of our enforcement team to blend in with the natural environment and observe people walking dogs.

They are using digital cameras to get hard evidence. Dog fouling is a real issue and in this case it is happening close to a leisure facility where children play
."

Dog fouling may well be a nuisance, but why is anti terrorist legalisation being used to combat it?

Why are innocent people being spied on by the council?

What controls are in place wrt the data gathered? (None I would warrant!)

When Ripa was passed in 2000, only nine organisations, such as the police and security services, were allowed to use it. That number has risen to 792, including 474 councils.

Whilst councillors can be held to account, and indeed can be voted out of office; Local Government Officers (LOG's), on defined pensions and very generous pay packages, cannot be held to account and are virtually impossible to remove from office.

Do we really want people like that spying on us?

When Ripa and other anti terrorist laws were introduced by our political "masters", we were assured that they would only be used against the "bad guys".

It transpires that we are all now "bad guys".

How did this happen?

1 The politicians lied

2 Politicians are incompetent headline grabbing fools, who don't think things through

3 Politicians ignore the fundamental principle of British law, ie innocent until proven guilty. The reason that we have limits on detention without charge etc is to protect the innocent from being held on false charges. Without that failsafe, we would all be held by the police on the slightest whim.

4 Brown and his ilk are control freaks, who do want to monitor what we do

5 Local councils are worse than worthless

6 It is the nature of councils et al to use all the tools at their disposal, to monitor and control their populations. The more we give them, the more they will use.

Brown and his mob even now are pressing for the police to have the wright to detain someone for 42 days without charge, if they suspect him/her of being a terrorist. How the hell do we know that one day we will not be held for 42 days, without charge, on suspicion of being a terrorist?

The solution?

-These festering sores on our democracy, LGO's et al, brought in en masse by "Nu Labour" should be removed from office in one massive culling operation.

-Ripa needs to be repealed and reworked.

-The 42 days detention rule must be stopped.

-Brown and Labour must be kicked out.

Nu labour and the local councils have marked out a path (by misuse of Ripa) that others, even more repellent people, will follow.

You have been warned!

"The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.

In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed
."

Adolf Hitler

13 comments:

  1. I love Nanny and Nu Labour, I think they are doing a great job.
    I can't wait to get my ID card. Man made climate change is real and can only be stopped by higher taxation.

    (Now that should ensure I do not get a visit in the middle of the night if they are monitoring this site or my Email account.)

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  2. Ken... Croydon Council is probably monitoring your phone calls, steaming open your letters and snooping on your email. Take a look out your office window right now. See that fellow in the office block over the road with the binoculars? That's a Croydon spook, complete with walkie-talkie and a golden pension. Be afraid... Be very afraid

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  3. Ken wrote:

    "How the hell do we know that one day we will not be held for 42 days, without charge, on suspicion of being a terrorist?"

    It's unlikely that you will be arrested and held for 42 days on suspicion of being a terrorist. However, putting your bins out on the wrong day, accidentally leaving an inch square piece of foil in with the paper you are recycling or trying to get your children into a semi-decent school, well that's another matter all together and you should expect to have your door kicked in by a squad of machine gun toting goons and be held without charge until you confess your heinous crime.

    If you are a terrorist then it is more likely that you will be let go as arrest breaches your human rights.

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  4. Lord of Atlantis1:27 PM

    "Nu labour and the local councils have marked out a path (by misuse of Ripa) that others, even more repellent people, will follow."

    Er, like whom? I cannot think of anyone muvh more repellent than Nu Labour and local authority jobsworths offhand, although I accept there may well be.

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  5. Mark

    Re

    "Croydon Council is probably monitoring your phone calls, steaming open your letters and snooping on your email. Take a look out your office window right now. See that fellow in the office block over the road with the binoculars? That's a Croydon spook, complete with walkie-talkie and a golden pension. "

    I wouldn't be at all surprised...not least since I have been taking pot shots at the council for years (see www.croyodniscrap.com and www.catarena.org)...rumour has it, from a few well placed sources, they hate my guts:)

    Ken

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  6. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Nanny does not allow anyone to escape here global policies.

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080414/tod-australia-environment-garbage-offbea-384169a.html

    Sorry, it's a long link but cut and paste should work with a little care.


    Grant

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  7. grumpy4:49 PM

    I read a story a couple of days ago where some poor innocent bastard, apparently the owner of some replica guns and air pistols (all of which are legal) was subjected to an armed siege (literally) with the street cordoned off, armed response units guarding the house, doors kicked in (all the usual stuff reserved for innocent citizens) and lots of gun-toting plods searching the house. Even though the householder was not accused of ANYTHING and charged with nothing, the coppers confiscated his guns (his own, legal property) and, so far as I am aware, have refused to return them. The police themselves have admitted that the guy has done nothing wrong. The suspicion is that he was 'dobbed in' (as I believe the expression is) by some friendly neighbour.

    So Ken, be careful when you use expressions like, "...I have been taking pot shots at the council for years...", if your local Public Servants (hah) really are monitoring your communications and choose to take your words literally, you too might find yourself receiving an early-morning visit from the RIBA-powered fuzz and taking an enforced 42 day holiday.

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  8. The owners could always scoop up their dogs' poo, take it along in a hygienic bag to a council meeting, and hurl it in the faces of their elected representatives and council officers.

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  9. Anonymous1:09 PM

    I would suggest using nanny's laws against her. If you spot someone filming or acting dodgy around public areas, call the police after all they are probably a peado (if there are kids around) and must be questioned if not arrested on the spot.

    Follow up on that line of thought, if they are filming innocent people perchance a breach of our much vaunted human rights - find a pro bono lawyer and sue, contact Liberty or some other bleeding heart liberal group and get on the council's case. Like cockroaches they hate the light shining on them and will turn tail and run.

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  10. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Ken, I am a long time admirer of your site and the madness you strive to expose. However, I am also a copper and was responsible for RIPA issues for several years.

    Despite your, it has to be said, mostly paranoid belief, RIPA was introduced to protect human rights by ensuring that surveillance (directed and intrusive) was tightly controlled and only to be used if, in the circumstances, it was necessary, justified and proportionate. On average, a 7 page form has to be compiled justifying the request for authorisation and if all the tests mentioned are met only then is it authorised by a senior officer. In police circles this has to be at least a superintendent.

    If this wasn't enough, oversight of the whole process is carried out by the Office of the Surveillance Comissioner, which sends out inspectors annually to each police force in the UK. They can look at the files relating to any surveillance that has been authorised and if they feel it is unjustified can impose sanctions on the force. I assume it is the same for other public authorities. Before RIPA anyone could carry out surveillance if it took their fancy.

    It is also important to distinguish between directed and intrusive surveillance. The former involves covert observations in a public place. If your doing anything in that situation that you wouldn't be happy anyone seeing, then don't do it. Can you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place? Intrusive involves video and listening devices in residential premises and vehicles and has to be authorised by the Chief Constable and only for serious crime.

    I obviously can't comment on cases of which I know nothing and, on the face of it, the example given does seem excessive. However, it is dangerous just to go by a story in a newspaper. I can assure you that surveillance is not carried out lightly and any requests for same are scrutinised very thoroughly with due regard to individuals' rights and collateral intrusion. I could go on for ages but won't bore you unless you indicate you want to know more.

    Keep up the good work!

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  11. Anonymous11:09 AM

    Anon 10:09 pm

    I understand your explanation of the origin of RIPA but, as with all things legal (but not exclusive to legal issues), original good intentions can be undermined by subsequent use and abuse.

    Are you telling us that the extension of the RIPA concept to cover organisations not originally thought to be included is also subject to sign off by a senior officer? Did Poole council really create a dossier, fill in a form and submit it for approval to a senior local police officer? And did that officer consider that checking a family's residential arrangements viz a viz a place in a primary school was sufficient cause to allow the application?

    Or have I misread what you wrote or, perhaps, read into it more than you were saying?

    Whether autonomous or approved by the Police I can't help but feel that the many new 'powers' the local authorities are taking upon themselves, especially in the areas of monitoring ans snooping, are those that not so long ago we used to criticise in other countries. Indeed still do sometimes, though perhaps with muted tones these days.

    If we are to sink into a state of centralised dictatorship we may as well face up to the fact and admit it and stop believing that our form of democracy is alive and well and has any purpose. I'm not sure whether that implies delusion or illusion, perhaps both. Each are dangerous to citizens' personal liberty if they delay the eventual recognition of the reality.



    Grant

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  12. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Grant,

    It was precisely because of the rampant use and abuse of surveillance techniques that RIPA was introduced. All public authorities are subject to its regulatory regime but application and authorisation of such techniques is carried out solely within that organisation. In the council’s case that would be an individual equivalent in standing to a police superintendent. I cannot vouch for the integrity of the process in other organisations but know for a fact that in policing this course of action is only used if no other means are available.

    I also wish people wouldn’t get so uptight about the so called ‘surveillance society’. It is for all our benefit. I know of cases that would never have seen the inside of a courtroom if it hadn’t been for CCTV and the like. There are plenty of checks and balances in the system to hopefully ensure there are no abuses. In the unlikely event that some do occur then there are more than sufficient legal mechanisms in place to seek redress. I ask again; should you have any reasonable expectation of privacy (whatever that means) in a public place?

    Chill, people!

    RIPA Anorak

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  13. Anonymous12:06 AM

    RIPA does does what it says on the tin. It regulates investigatory powers, it does NOT provide them.

    In fact, many of the authorisations obtained by Councils are not necessary and were got merely as a precaution. Any public activity is fair game so photographing some disgusting oik letting his puppy poop in the kiddies sandpit does not need RIPA.

    Problem has also been misreporting - Council's cannot tap phones - a few requests would be for itemised billing info, but the vast majority will be for reverse directory info to chase rogue traders and the like. (Have a look at www.tradingstandards.gov.uk for a list of some of the legislation that Councils HAVE to enforce and work out how to do them all without tripping over RIPA).

    Also see the Parliamentary briefing note at www.lacors.com

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