Saturday, November 22, 2008
I see that Nanny has got something of the wind up her skirt over the public reaction against our "respected" local councils using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on people wrt dog mess, dustbin "crimes" and other local trivia.
Home Orifice minister Vernon Coaker told a House of Lords committee that Nanny was considering how to limit the use of RIPA, which was set up to tackle terrorism.
"We don't want to see legislation available for local authorities to use with respect to serious crime being used... for example, in respect of dog-fouling.
That's something we need to address. We have to stop some of these things happening that do undermine support."
The trouble is anyone with half a brain could have told Nanny that Blunkett (who allowed councils to use RIPA from 2003) was opening a can of worms, and that RIPA would be abused in this way.
The more powers you give the state and its organs, the more tempted they are to use them.
Labour peer Lord Peston agreed:
"If these powers are being used for local authorities to search my dustbins, isn't the danger that you lose public support... in the area for which you most need public support, namely the anti-terrorism and anti-crime thing?"
OK, so that's all very comforting, the question is will Nanny stop local councils from using RIPA?
Don't hold your breath, this is just a comforting PR exercise designed to lull us to sleep.
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