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.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Nanny Abuses RIPA Yet Again

Nanny has yet again abused the powers granted to her via the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

In theory RIPA was brought in by Nanny on the pretext of catching terrorists.

In practice, as loyal readers know, it has been used by Nanny's orifices of state (eg councils et al) to spy on local citizens as a means of collecting debts and bringing "unruly" voters under control.

The latest example of the abuse of RIPA emanates from HMRC.

In March (on my HMRC site) I asked the following question:

"Where is whistleblower Osita Mba?"
By happenstance, on the 29th of April, The Guardian provided a rather detailed and interesting update as to what HMRC have been doing to Mr Mba.

It transpires that HMRC used their powers, normally reserved for catching serious criminals to search the belongings, emails, internet records and phone calls of Mr Mba and his wife.

For why?

HMRC wanted to prove that Mr Mba had spoken to the Guardian's former investigations editor David Leigh.

Seemingly HMRC could find no proof of any contact.

Cathy James, the head of the whistleblowers' charity, Public Concern at Work, regards this as "sinister" and is quoted:
"The actions of the HMRC in this case are very much a step in the wrong direction, more likely to result in a culture of silence with more anonymous leaking than anything else. It is a case of shoot – and silence – the messengers."
David Leigh, who retired from the Guardian last month, said:
"The revenue's decision to use these powers to try and find a link with a journalist when the disclosure was so obviously in the public interest was heavy-handed and foolish, and shows the level of paranoia over their tax deals."
Mr Mba's employment tribunal claim continues and is expected to be heard in the autumn.

As I have noted before, the more powers that are granted to organisations such as HMRC the more they will abuse and misuse them!

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  1. It appears to be all too often the case that, when a new piece of legislation granting powers to organisations come into being, those powers are used in ways they weren't intended to be. I believe these organisations cannot resist using these powers and because they're not spending their own money, they don't consider cost etc when deciding to turn to these powers. I could not see a private company, if it were given similar powers, spending tens of thousands of pounds with little or no return on that expenditure.

    I think RIPA is one of the most abused pieces of legislation along with the powers granted in the proceeds of crime act.....The latter was brought in so that Nanny could confiscate ill gotten gains from serious, organised criminal gangs, not someone that may of made a couple of hundred pounds shoplifting. I always think of the sledgehammer to crack a nut saying when I read about some of the uses of RIPA and PFCA orders.

  2. Lord of Atlantis11:05 AM

    And the problem is getting worse, not better! Big Brother is watching YOU!