back to article Local copper: Met secret police requested MP bugging

Fresh revelations emerged overnight surrounding allegations that police bugged conversations between Labour MP Sadiq Khan and his constituent, Babar Ahmad, in a visiting room at Woodhill prison. The former Thames Valley police officer at the centre of the case has said that the surveillance was carried out at the request of the …

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Flame

Of course he is subversive

He is a human rights lawyer, the worst thought crime of them all. Subjects like him should be eliminated at the first possible opportunity by every selfrespecting Intelligence service. After all it these pesky characters which prevent the righteous spooks from waterboarding, applying electric shock to genitals or subcontracting such activities to a suitable "democratic" country in the middle east.

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Anonymous Coward

'Secret police'

You know, I never thought I'd ever see us discussing a 'secret police' with unchecked surveillance powers IN BRITAIN! East Germany perhaps, Russia perhaps, but never in Britain.

Would it kill them to put the judicial checks back into the surveillance process?

I know it's tempting to imagine a Chief Constable as a uniform rather than a person, a crisp clean honest black and white uniform. But the uniform doesn't make the choices, the man inside it does. Can you imagine Alistair Campbell as a Chief Constable? Enough said!

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Black Helicopters

Lesser of two evils?

I wonder who in the Government decided that "We're too incompentant to read our own mail." was a better option than "We're too incompetant to run an effective cover-up" when the wheels came off this one?

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Dead Vulture

Outdated doctrine

If its not amusing, its frankly nauseating the way our politicians have come out in shock and disgust over the last few days. As if they idea that they are bugged by the security services is appalling, beyond the pale.

And yet, the rest of us are subject to more surveillance than any other first world nation, with the least amount of oversight and accountability to the general public.

What is so special about politicians that they could not ever be dangerous subversives or common criminals ? They are no different from the rest of the populace in this respect, and there is no reason to exclude them from panopticon prison the rest of us have been put into.

Yes there ought to be consideration of "due cause", but only to the level which the rest of us are granted (i.e. not very much).

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PW9315X

The stance being adopted by this Government seems to be increasingly one of ignorance about anything going in the world. Not aware of x, no records of y - just how long do they really think they can repeat these lines? Or are they too focused on telling lies about the NHS and destroying the medical profession to be bothered about other issues?

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Ungood

Double-plus ungood. We have always been at war with terrorists.

Thoughtcrime!

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Coat

Who cares?

Except the MPs who are don't have to declare their expenses, and vote themselves pay rises and pension-rises from our (taxpayer) money?

Sod them.

Sod them all.

It's about time they were on the wrong-end of some bugg(er)ing. What makes them think they are untouchable? They should have no privacy rights above the general public.

This chap visited a suspected terrorist in prison. Is it any wonder he was bugged? Who exactly is upset about this?

Human Rights lawyers? Wankers in a suit (probably woven-together by kiddie-slaves in a sweat shop).

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Weasel words

What annoys me most about this case is that by recording the conversation, the Doctrine has clearly been breached. Then to justify it, the government says that just because approval for the recording was made by a Police Officer and not a member of the government, it's all right.

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Stop

..off topic...

.. have you seen the film "The Lives Of Others"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lives_of_Others

Did I say "Off Topic", sorry....

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Black Helicopters

@Master Baker

This chap visited a suspected terrorist in prison

Yes a suspect. The last major organization to declare that suspicion was prof of guilt was Spanish and had an Inquisitive nature.

How about I shop you as a terrorist suspect, right to trial, what right to trial, you are a suspected terrorist and we can detain you indefinatly.

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Wilson doctrine my ass.

If our MPs are up to funny shit with crims or terrorists, damn right I want them surveilled.

What they should be screaming about is the fact that this can be done by the clearly paranoid and incompetent met and their sock puppets without any oversight whatsoever. And I don't rate having to go a CPO and ask as 'oversight'. Time for a FOIA request, how many of these requests were made, how many turned down ? How many involve the trigger word 'terrorist' ? In particular, how many 'subversives' are we bugging ?

Every single MP, especially the Labour ones, should be screaming that this an abuse of executive power. Except thanks to RIPA, which they were happy yo pass, it isn't!

Instead they whine that they really don't think such measures are called for in *their* particular case. Obviously this is because they are well known to be as honest as the day is long.

Stop sniggering at the back.

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Coat

If MPs have nothing to hide,

they've nothing to fear.

Isn't that what the Government keep telling us?

Grey mack, please. The one with the wires hanging out of the pocket.

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At the risk of Godwinning this thread

The nuremburg trials were conducted and there we codified and proved that "I was only following orders" is NOT a defence to doing the wrong thing.

In the army it is coded that you must refuse an illegal order. In the army you can get SHOT for disobeying. The worst they can do to you in the police force is sack you.

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Stop

surveillance society

Remember Sadiq Khan wrote "Police Misconduct" a great book. As he was on the IPCC commitee as a representative of the legal profession and a Muslim, and a human rights solicitor it was a given he personally was being surveilled by the police.

They will use the Force Intelligence System ( big database) to hold all the snippets of info, in case it is needed for a rainy day...

Case workers at the IPCC know it, they won't say anything about police conduct unless they are sure they cannot be observed

The great thing about RIPA is that you take it on trust an authority has been applied for, which obviously they don't do for this type of task. The reason the Met asked Kearney is that they didn't have legal access to the prison. I bet the Officer who asked him is now facing some interesting questions...Did Kearney ask if there was an authority for survellance? probably not.

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Alien

Router MalWare ....... Crazy Forks, Kemo Sabe. Apache Know Well.

<<<"The MP concerned was Sadiq Khan... I did record the visit but have never felt it was justified in these circumstances," he said.>>> .....http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7227546.stm

Fortunately, however, such justification rest elsewhere, Mr Kearney.

"The stance being adopted by this Government seems to be increasingly one of ignorance about anything going in the world. Not aware of x, no records of y - just how long do they really think they can repeat these lines?" .... By Pete James Posted Tuesday 5th February 2008 10:58 GMT ...... There is always the Possibility that some Communications are intercepted/spirited away.

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Pirate

The practice should be extended

All MPs should be fitted with subcu GPS Tracker, microphones, CCTV and a small IED linked to a bullshitometer. Given their propensity to lie, cheat and otherwise behave as if they are above the law we need to be able to monitor these untrustworthy types every move and word and terminate their contract when the BS gets too much. Of course that would mean elections every other Thursday for a while but I'm sure they would get the hang of it eventually.

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Pirate

Ah

Ah , the old MET way of screening racial profiling strikes again !

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Anonymous Coward

... by post..

good excuse. Would not be the first thing that got lost in the post.

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Paris Hilton

@John Imrie

Suspected terrorist? Suspected webmaster, more like!

The Taleban are not Al-Qaeda ( although they have a common enemy ) - they are a pseudo-political movement in a country half-way round the planet, and this idiot probably raised a lot less funds for them than the wankers in Washington.

From now on I suggest anyone that invokes the word "terrorist" at any time should be imprisoned without trial for 2 years purely by way of association with the word.

Paris, because even she's done less muslims than our spooks.

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Boffin

Tinfoil hat anyone?

Before you start pulling your hair out about secret police running roughshod over our privacy without let or hindrance have a read of the RIPA act and the onerous obligations it puts on the police as well as us honest web service providers.

Unlucky Mr MP, thanks to RIPA all that's required is for the Chief Con of the force in question to successfully argue that the needs of national security outweigh the need for privacy in the circumstances. Not a hard sell in the current climate.

The only reason anyone is outraged (if anyone beyond MPs are) is that we know about it, this time. You think the same thing hasn't gone on before? That MPs attending public demonstrations for example are blurred out on the intelligence gathering CCTV? Please.

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Black Helicopters

@Steen Hive

You are quite correct.

I was getting on my high horse because once you drop the word suspected in front of certain crimes; terrorist and pedophile, come readily to mind; there appears to be an assumption of guilt to such an extent that normal legal protections no longer apply.

The charge of terrorist has been extended to such an extent that computer hackers are now classified as terrorists http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/02/20/hackers_are_terrorists_says_uk/ as well as taking photos of motorways or trespassing on a cycle path http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/10/uk_terrorism_la.html

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Bronze badge

MPs

While I'm happy that MPs shouldn't be given special treatment I think the reason bugging of them is frowned upon is that it smacks of interference with the political process. If you can spy on the opposition you have an advantage in an election. So, while spying on anyone should be rare and require judicial over-sight spying on MPs is a different kind of wrong doing!

Quite honestly the way things have gone the UK government should be locked up. There aren't many American literary works to quote but this has all got a bit Arthur Miller hasn't it?

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When this gets interesting ...

... is when someone investigating, or even complaining, about misbehaviour by an MP suddenly finds that they are hit by 'anti-terrorist' measures. If, oh, a home secretary for example, has some career-threatening issue to cover up, (which would never happen, would it?) said home secretary now has powers to make life very hard for said investigator.

Is taping an MPs conversations terrorism? Prolly will be soon.

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Let's face it

Stories like this make for popular news but they don't ever report any real facts. Tabloid "journalism" like this is there to wind people up and make them feel their opinion matters.

Of course the government spies on people, part of the point of having a "higher" authority, however human it is, is to try and safeguard us. It's not perfect and it'd be great if it wasn't needed, but unfortunately it is! All these stories do is make it harder for people to do their jobs because as soon as something becomes seen as "political" it gets meddled with.

If you think the NHS is bad, wait till you see the end result of all these news stories on the police and internal security forces!

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Alien

Tinhat Paranoia

We have neither "secret" police in the sense meant here or unlimited detention without trial. We certainly don't have unregulated surveilance of anyone, let alone terrorist suspects. I wonder where all you lot are getting your facts from?

You local supermarket knows more about you than any police database. Get over it and go back to looking for signs of alien infestation on GoogleEarth.

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RIPA hilarity

Yesterday MPs asked Jack Straw to confirm that there were no bugging orders being operated against Members of Parliament. Straw said he could not, because RIPA 2000 makes it a criminal offence to disclose if a bugging order exists.

Who was the genius Home Secretary that brought in RIPA?

Well, one Jack Straw of course.

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Human rights lawyer

Didn't take Khan long to throw all that human rights rubbish aside once he became an MP. The only question being, did he jump on ID cards, internment without trial, war, DNA evidence and endemic surveillance *faster* than Emily Thornberry - a fellow human rights lawyer and ultra-loyal New Labour MP?

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Re: Let's face it

"All these stories do is make it harder for people to do their jobs because as soon as something becomes seen as "political" it gets meddled with."

They are not doing their jobs - they are illegally bugging meetings between solicitors and clients (Creighton/Roberts). When this "higher authority" of yours is abusing it's authority, who protects us then? And why is it necessary? It didn't stop the 7/7 bombers despite the fact that they were under surveillance. The Forest Gate "cell" was under surveillance and an innocent man ended up getting shot - ditto de Menezes.

"If you think the NHS is bad, wait till you see the end result of all these news stories on the police and internal security forces!"

Yeah, the NHS is fucked because of tabloid journalism - nothing at all to do with PFIs. Or are you saying that PFIs are the inevitable result of tabloid journalism?

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Unhappy

Wilson

The reason that the Wilson convention/doctrine (whatever) was formulated was because Harold was convinced that MI5 had it in for any vaguely left-wing government and were bound to be bugging him and the rest of the Cabinet. Possibly true, given the 'revelations' in Spycatcher and the way retired army types were trying to get private armies together in the early '70s?

Given that the UK is a (quote) democracy, a Government is pretty much bound to go well over the top with legislation so as to avoid any blame that's flying around when the inevitable happens...and any supposedly left-leaning gov* even more so.

*Yeah, I know.

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Anonymous Coward

Tin foil hat

"We have neither "secret" police in the sense meant here or unlimited detention without trial."

Yes we do in both cases.

Stasi would spy on people they deemed subversive to their state. The key elements were that *they* would select and approve their own targets in secret, sans judicial check and public scrutiny. This is exactly what happens under RIPA.

As the spooks put it in that 2006 report, their surveillance would not stand court scrutiny and should be kept out of court cases. [section 113, reason why their surveillance should not be shown in court].

Do you remember we locked up a goth muslim girl recently for making pro Al Qaeda comments? Not for *actions* but for *words*, she was never viewed as a real threat. So careful what you say.

http://www.davidosler.com/2007/11/the_lyrical_terrorist_and_stur.html

And we have unlimited detention without trial via the immigration laws, and of course limited detention without trial has been extended more than required to file the charges. We also have control orders, remember those? Russian had those, you could be banished to Serbia under a political order not to leave there.

The definition of terrorist includes computer crimes, , "seriously disrupt an electronic system...[for a]...a political, religious or ideological cause"" stuff that has zip to do with terror. Ideological cause? You mean like being anti-DRM? The limits that are there are so vague as to be meaningless.

Should Hamas the elected Palestinian leadership be on the list of terrorist organisations? I can't say 'no', that would be ground for surveillance.

We have a big problem here, ACTSA was struck down by the lords, so it should be clear that Blair went beyond any reasonable limits. Just because the rest of his rubbish hasn't been struck down yet, doesn't mean it shouldn't be.

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Anonymous Coward

Who says what to whom

In early October 2007, during the weekend in which McBroon decided not to hold an election, he met with Murdoch at Checkers. So the transcript might be:

McBroon: Rupe, can you swing it for me, can you?

Murdoch: At this stage, not a hope mate. You should have called it 3 months ago.

McBroon: Oh right. So there won't be any favours I can do for you.

Some bugging should be done. In this example I suspect it was.

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Pirate

Secret meetings between Met and Courts

Several years ago a matter was raised in Court regarding secret meetings between the Met Police and Judges .These meetings related to a number of cases that were proceeding. There is a LOT that goes on behind closed doors involving the police that is hidden from sight and what the Government and Police rely on is the ignorance of 99% of the population.

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Jobs Horns

Enjoy your Jihad.

I find it ironic that the UK is more concerned with pencil-pushers with microphones than with bloodthirsty third-world savages that want to cut off the heads of schoolteachers for the horrible crime of.... naming a teddy-bear Mohamed.

Did I say "ironic?" I meant "idiotic." Enjoy your Jihad.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Enjoy your Jihad

You do know that Jihad means "holy strife" as in your obligation to God.

Like, say, living a Christian life.

So now we have that bastardisation out of the way, which am I more likely to be inconvenienced by

a) Some loon from durka-durka stan (cf Team America)

b) Some loon with a tit on his head (cf Young Ones)

?

And there are a LOT MORE pensil pushers than third world savages wielding swords wanting to cut off our heads (and lets face it, if you were convicted of paedophillia, there's plenty of people in Mornington Crescent willing to chop your nads off and feed them to you, the only difference is MC is a lot closer to me...).

So enjoy living the life you are allowed to by Our Glorious Leader (cf Rocky and Bullwinkle).

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Stop

@Enjoy your Jihad

But, but, but... A few years ago, when the people Hating Your Freedoms were the pencil-pushers with microphones, and the 'bloodthirsty third-world savages' were heroic freedom-fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan, what then?

Of course, in Mud Island at that time, our pencil-ushers with microphones were all busy bugging NUM meetings and fitting up random Irishmen for crimes they hadn't committed and yours (I am assuming you are from the Revolted Colonies) were busy with the whole Iran/Contra thing.

Plus ca change...

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Thumb Down

@Anony Mous

No point countering "idiocy" with inanity. Just because you happen to be speaking in tune with the mob this time, doesn't mean it'll always be that way. Then you'll be just as fucked as our webmaster friend.

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Black Helicopters

Lucky bugger

At least he had a good, British, pronounceable name like Khan. If he'd been Brazilian they'd have just shot him and been done with it.

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