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back to article Report into MP bugging: MP was bugged, no laws broken

Details of the government investigation into police bugging of an MP's conversations with a prison inmate have leaked, ahead of an expected announcement to Parliament this afternoon. The report by Sir Christopher Rose reportedly says that MP Sadiq Khan was indeed taped by police twice, while visiting his constituent and friend …

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Silver badge

Secrets? What secrets? Who needs them anyway and for what Good Purpose?

Welcome to the Total Information Awareness Society for Better and Beta Security. And I say that most sincerely, folks.

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Anonymous Coward

They know what you did last summer

So now dear MPs you know that Wilson Doctrine isn't applied to anything but phone and email conversations monitored by the spooks.... and not to the ones monitored by the MET on behalf of the spooks. (Which presumably is why they were monitoring terrorist suspect in jail? Presumably that information was passed back to the spooks, which means that invasive spying on MPs can be done simply by asking the MET to do it.).

And certainly not to your call records, cell locations (i.e. you position at a given time) any of the myriad of transaction meta data, e.g. your web surfing records, your email header etc. aren't protected, so that nice man in the department run by your opponent can simply ask for that without even a court order, just like the rest of us.

Heck, face to face conversations in public places are fair game, even private conversations in closed rooms of government building are fair game.

Better not make too much of a fuss. You might find Murdoch receives details of those fetish web sites you've been visiting... are you up for an erection or up for reelection?

What? Did you think UK had due process and checks and balances??? Where have you been?

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Brown changed the rules last summer

It seems that Gorden Brown changed the Willson Doctrine last summer to exempt the police.

So we know now who to blame for this mess.

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Coat

The other way round, more like

"Furthermore, the current rather lackadaisical supervision of police bugging may very well need to be brought into line with the spook regime. If it isn't, after all, spies wishing to avoid political oversight need only phone up the Met's vast SO15 secret-police organisation in order to bug anyone they want, with just a signature from the relevant chief constable."

More likely the "archaic and restrictive" rules that are "tying the hands" of our secret services and preventing them from "saving us from terrorists" and "protecting our basic human right to security" will be brought into line with the modern, progressive regulations that govern our police.

Coat please. Mine's the one with the secret police microphone and GPS tracking device sewn into the collar.

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Anonymous Coward

What goes around, comes around and slaps you in the face

Our Boys-in-Blue have been developed into the government's own unaccountable, paramilitary, enforcement attack dogs. They now create national law enforcement policy independently of the elected process in many instances.

The thing with dogs is that they may turn around and bite you.

It was not smart to have messed with their pay agreement. Even loyal dogs can go feral.

Big Brother is now here with us and watches us, all for our own good, naturally.

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Coat

Quel surprise

What's that? Government/MPs/Police no fault found you say? Well El Reg that's hardly news is it.

Wake me when a politician stands up and says "yes I got that a bit wrong, sorry everyone".

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Black Helicopters

Nothing to Hide

Well, if MP's have nothing to hide, why are they worried?

Isn't that what they tell us when passing the legislation which invades our privacy?

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WASPs love to queue

What is it about the WASPs? Terrified, spying on everyone, yearning for empire. Be more French, or even German. Why doesn't the MP unload a truckload of sheep into Parliament or boot Gordon Brown in the nuts.

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Coat

Freeing Child Molesters

There shouldn't be any worries on that front:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/17/upaedo117.xml

As far as I can see, the majority of these seem to be white (can't tell if any are MPs though) and unlikely to be bugged by the Met.

Mine's the one with the built-in white-noise generator...

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Mandarin clears government and police outrage - shock horror!

I'm so surprised by this finding I might need to lie down for a while in a dimly lit room.

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Anonymous Coward

Hoop jumping

You would thought that either an MP could or could not be bugged by the state.

Time for the abolishment of those people in MI5, if the police can do the job better, what use are they ?

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Alien

Be Grateful...

Be grateful that, in the UK, you can freely discuss (and argue about) these types of issues, and no one will "send the boys round" to sort it out.

It's interesting that the people who complain are generally (directly or indirectly) from countries where similar rights and privileges don't (or hardly) even exist.

Why should the UK let other countries get a tactical advantage by apealling to the ethics and morality of the UK when they don't themselves follow such principles?

How about arguing that there should be uniform rules for all countries?

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Long Day

It must have been a long day: I keep parsing the headline as "MP Was Buggered".

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@ the "Be Grateful" AC

The point is rather that we are supposed to be free and democratic societies and we are a better place for being so. As opposed to all these nasty brutish totalitarian citizen abusing governments. I for one believe that our freedoms is what made democracies more successful than totalitarian governments the world over (barring those who hit a natural resource jackpot).

One more thing, if you look at the leading causes of death worldwide (as according to the WHO's "The world health report 2004") terrorism doesn't even merit an entry ("War" ranks 60 out of the 79 causes listed). However for some reason terrorism is suddenly the prime threat against the civilised world and billions of $, £ etc have to be deployed to fight it, the Executive branches of governments and spooks the world over have expanded their powers massively while reducing the amount of oversight the public have over their activities. While all this happens there are people like you happily cheering them on...

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Re:Be Grateful...

But it is pointless. It doesn't STOP the bad stuff happening no matter how much we complain.

So what's the point of free speech if it has no effect? If it is ignored?

None.

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Go

Accountability - what means it?

I'd rather hope that any MP, SMP, WMP , ... would relish opportunities to demonstrate accountability to the public whenever. Instead we seem to have cause for concern over a security matter.

Tie that in with MEP creativeness with expenses, employing family in non-productive posts/roles, claiming expenses fr non-existent stuff and I begin to see where our much beloved public servants take their leadership models.

Is it really far, far better to "grab it while one can"?

Whatever happened to notions of accountability (the Tories really can take a good rest from that discussion) and public servitude?

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Dev

UNaccountable?

"Our Boys-in-Blue have been developed into the government's own unaccountable, paramilitary, enforcement attack dogs."

And yet every report and commentator says they're more scrutinized than ever, spending more time "accounting" for what they do than actually doing it.

With great power comes a great big stack of paperwork, I mean, responsibility.

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Boffin

I don't get it

Sorry for being an ignorant Yank. But I don't understand where the uproar is. Here in the states if you visit someone in prison/jail/etc, you will be recorded, no ifs or buts about it. Client-Lawyer privilege is another matter and they have non-monitored rooms for that. BUT, the lawyer in question actually has to tell the cops he is there for a privileged meeting. This policy pre-dates the whole terrorist scare bit on the premise that prison inmates don't have any rights (at least while in prison)... I imagine somewhere there is a similar policy/legal precedent in the UK. I don't see how the visitor being an MP should somehow change the rules.

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Anonymous Coward

C'mon - it was a suspected Terrorist who was bugged!

And why shouldn't our wonderful police bug a suspected terrorist?

Which hat did Mr Khan have on when he made the visit - Lawyer, MP, friend or Imman?

I suspect recently convicted murderer Steve Wright may find it more difficult to get his local MP to visit him.

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@Chris Totten

An MP is like a congressman, you can't allow conversations with elected representatives to be eavesdropped by the spooks, never mind regular plod. Except you can. A few years ago there was a wonderful piece of legislation passed in which allowed the cops and the spooks to "work together to blah blah blah". This effectively gave the cops the abilities of the spooks and the spooks the abilities of the cops. This is a very very bad thing indeed and effectively undoes a system of checks and balances designed to protect civil liberties.

@grateful coward "It's interesting that the people who complain are generally (directly or indirectly) from countries where similar rights and privileges don't (or hardly) even exist."

How can someone be from a country indirectly?

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Re: Dev

For accountability you need at least some sort of consequence for fucking up, not just writing lots of forms. If you don't even get sacked for pinning an unarmed innocent man down and shooting him dead, then clearly accountability is a façade, and not even a very convincing one.

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Bronze badge

Accountability

Is not about making anyone suffer for a cock up, it's just that some one wants to know how much it cost in terms of overtime, bullets, doughnuts etc.

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