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back to article UK's secret surveillance regime 'does not breach human rights'

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) violates the human right to a private life. The UK's rules and safeguards on covert surveillance are proportionate, said the court. The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the UK's Regulation …

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Big Brother

And talking of surveillance...

Slightly off-topic...or not.

Jaqui Smith today told the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8693537.stm

"the nice thing about being a private citizen is I don't have to tell you every detail of my private life".

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FAIL

but surely...

if she's got nothing to hide, she's got nothing to fear.

every failed dwarven fascistic politico knows that.

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Lordy Lord save us from Pretentious Minnows pretending to be Sharp Sharks. Mankind deserves Better.

"Jaqui Smith today told the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8693537.stm

"the nice thing about being a private citizen is I don't have to tell you every detail of my private life"." ...... Mahatma Coat Posted Thursday 20th May 2010 09:17 GMT

I am sorely tempted to be extremely sexist and even offensive and say .."What a stupid bitch. As if ever as a public servant she chose to reveal anything that wasn't dragged out by others into the spotlight " .... but I shall not bother for who the hell cares about what she thinks or does in her so obviously miserable private life?

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I sure all the people that wrote to her asking for an ID Card

Will be writing to her now offering her and her corrupt husband a job.

for once justice is served

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Stop

The Court got it wrong

"The Court also highlighted the extensive jurisdiction of the IPT to examine any complaint of unlawful interception of communications. Unlike in many other countries, any person could apply to the IPT, which was an independent and impartial body."

This is a serious error on the part of The Court or at the very least bad reporting by Out-Law because it simply is not true. The IPT have explicitly stated they are only responsible for complaints against public authorities with regards to RIPA so:

"of the IPT to examine any complaint of unlawful interception of communications"

is not true.

I have extensive experience of trying to get the IPT to accept complaints on corporate breaches of RIPA and they have refused based on the statement I made above.

Please clarify the -exact- wording from The Court on this matter including any context which may have been missed in this article.

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WTF?

Sir

Police - the biggest gang on the block.

Threaten them and you will feel the boot of injustice on your neck.

Something for Clegg perhaps?

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Spam-a-lot

Nowadays he'd also likely have been on the receieving end of a flood of irritating and intimidating personalised email spam from those too afraid to identify themselves.

The guy should have emigrated and rebuilt his restuarant business abroad...

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Big Brother

Malcolm Kennedy - a most extraordinary case

Malcolm Kennedy's case, in which he alleges continued harassment, was due to be heard at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal on July 11th and 12th 2002.

These two dates are just a small part of a long running saga which stretches back over 11 years to Christmas Eve 1990 when Malcolm Kennedy was arrested for drunkeness and taken to Hammersmith Police Station. The full story of these events can be found online in the pamphlet ‘Who Killed Patrick Quinn? The Framing of Malcolm Kennedy’.

http://www.red-star-research.org.uk/malcolm.html

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Anonymous Coward

bravo

Assuming there aren't key details missing from this story, it makes me proud to be British to know that the "security services" are ever-ready to step in and defend our police force from the inconvenient burden of "justice". In my view, powers to frame and harass civilians should be passed directly to the police themselves, so as to expedite and facilitate their noble function. Well done them. I for one am glad we have an institution that protects local slags from natural justice, funnels revenue into local government coffers through zealous application of petty traffic laws, and denies citizens the fundamental right to protect themselves in their own home. After all - we don't want people "taking the law into their own hands" do we? Imagine the chaos! The sky would turn purple and granny would breakdance unstoppably. Sieg heil!

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Grenade

Inevitable Change ..... whether the Present Controllers and Dodgy Systems want it or not.

Fascism is alive and well and flourishing in the name of national security and the pimping of enslaving capitalist debt burdens to protect the economic well-being of the criminals to whom it is paid or who would be charging it and demanding extra interest for the pleasure of being screwed by its systems too?

A nice scam and/or scheme, indeed, but one which more and more intelligent beings are seeing and realising doesn't have any future in the future where and when there is no right to privacy in a well policed state and connected world.

High Time for Plan B and AI Betas, Methinks, before the Savage Natives turn Virtually Savvy and Really Hostile for No One will be able to Stem and Reverse that Inquisitive Tide and Information Gusher/Intelligence Geyser.

And how very odd that such is not foreseen by the present incumbent, Wheelers and Dealers/Spinners and Spivs? Are they Artificially Blinkered or have they Impaired and/or Defective Sight/Long Vision/Short See/Primitive Lead Intelligence in a SMARTer Following World? What is their Excuse for the Poverty which Reigns and with which they Rule?

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Big Brother

Huh? WTF?

I don't know if the guy is a crook or not. Frankly I don't care much one way or the other, because this case has highlighted a far bigger concern. What has "exempt from the disclosure" ... "on the grounds of national security." got to do with whatever happened in a police prison cell? ... How the hell has that got anything to do with national security?!?

So what this case is showing us is that Human Rights don't protect us from national security spying in any way. That's a wonderful way to totally throw out Human Rights and all liberty by using that blanket joker card, "its for national security".

Great so now our ever growing Police State can spy for any reason and simply claim its for national security? ... that's like the way RIPA was used to spy on rubbish dumpers and the way RIPA was used to spy on school catchment area allocation.

WTF is happening to our country. The UK once upon a time not only had a spine but was also proud to have a spine, yet now fear of Terrorists (tm) and the perpetual war against Terrorism is used like a blank cheque way to totally erode all civil liberties, in the name of safety from fear. Its the perfect cover story within which to continually creep in ever more outright totalitarian attitudes.

@"The Government explained that is has a policy of "neither confirm nor deny" which it said was important to ensure the overall effectiveness of surveillance operations."

Wonderful so now we can't be allowed to know if they are spying on us. So yes I remember that kind of thinking from the 1984 book as well. People didn't know when Big Brother was watching them, (it was never confirmed or denied when Big Brother was watching) but it didn't need to, it was simply the fear of Big Brother *maybe* watching that kept everyone in line. Fear was the tool to keep people in line. That's a common theme of totalitarian attitudes.

Example RIPA powers:

Interception of a communication, i.e. Wire taps and reading post.

Directed surveillance, i.e. Following people.

Covert human intelligence sources, i.e. Informers.

Intrusive surveillance i.e. Bugging houses/vehicles.

Yes sadly that sounds exactly like the powers of a totalitarian state. I have no problem at all with law enforcement, but when that enforcement can be twisted, subverted and abused into a way of spying on anyone at will, then its an utter abuse of power, yet that is exactly what we are increasingly getting. So on the one hand the politicians tell us its all going to be fixed, yet on the other hand we have news example after news example of how its not fixed, its actually getting ever worse and its getting worse because dozens of groups are each making their own power grabs to remorselessly exploit and abuse technology.

There has always been very good reasons why throughout history, people all around the world have tried very hard to protect their privacy, liberty and freedom from state interference. Fail to learn from history and we walk right back into the same problems again, only this time, with the power of ever better (yet ever more abused) technology, the state is becoming more powerful than at any time in history and yet the people in power have shown countless times how their kind cannot just be trusted with ever increasing power. Their actions have to be policed or they become part of the problem. Yet just about every day we have example after example news showing how its slowly getting ever worse. The pain of reading the news feels like being dragged inextricably into an utter nightmare totalitarian world. What the hell is happening to our world. :(

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Big Brother

The Trial

Kafka's novel "The Trial" which was later adopted as a play by Berkoff is a powerful and nightmarish rendering of these memes. It tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed either to him or the reader.

"it is eerily prescient of the psychological weaponry used by the much more insidious totalitarian regimes to come"...

> I remember that kind of thinking from the 1984 book as well. People didn't know when Big Brother was watching them, (it was never confirmed or denied when Big Brother was watching) but it didn't need to, it was simply the fear of Big Brother *maybe* watching that kept everyone in line. Fear was the tool to keep people in line. That's a common theme of totalitarian attitudes.

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Anonymous Coward

@ war against Terrorism

Remember, in the 21st C it is the war against 'Terror', not 'Terrorism'. One might almost suppose that rebranding was used to associate it with the blind panic required from the tax paying headless chickens it feeds on.

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Sir

"What has "exempt from the disclosure" ... "on the grounds of national security." got to do with whatever happened in a police prison cell?"

Because if the people found out the true levelof corruption in the Police there would be riots. Riots != good - so stop them whatever the cost, therefore bury the evidence in the 'National Interest' (tm)

If I'm cynical, it's because I've had extensive training.

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Big Brother

Eh?

If the policy of "neither confirm nor deny" gives the UK authorities a means to avoid any kind of scrutiny, how would anyone EVER be able to prove (well enough to stand up in court) that their right to privacy had been breached in respect of unlawful interception of their communications?

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Eh indeed

I don't know the specifics of UK law, but this is very similar to cases in the US where the government is untouchable because citizens collectively cannot prove the government wiretapped them.

It's one thing to suppress information until a case is closed, but this shows that the government doesn't want people to know what it's doing even after the fact. If people cannot learn what their government is doing, then people cannot make the informed decisions required to make democracy work and they loose the ability to fix government programs when they're broken. In a genuine democracy, government must always be held accountable to the people. Even if people choose to be less safe, that is their right. Non-disclosure means people have no idea about the scope or effectiveness of the secret programs. Telling citizens how and when they are wiretapped may very well "undermine the usefulness of any intelligence gathered against them". Still, it is their right to know and the government's responsibility to obey.

That the government believes it is an entity above the people is worrisome. Whatever the justifications, people are loosing the right to rule themselves.

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Happy

Catch-22 Rejected!

I particularly like this bit:-

"The case did not establish whether or not Kennedy's communications had been intercepted or not. The Government explained that is has a policy of "neither confirm nor deny" which it said was important to ensure the overall effectiveness of surveillance operations.

...

However, the Government also said that Kennedy's Article 8 claim should be dismissed because "he had not established a reasonable likelihood … that his communications had been intercepted.""

Wow, that sounds like it's straight out of Heller's Catch-22!

Citizen: "Am I being spied upon?"

State: "You're not allowed to know."

Citizen: "I object to being spied upon!"

State: "You've got no evidence that you're being spied upon to support your complaint."

But then:-

"The ECHR disagreed. It said that an individual might, under certain conditions to be determined in each case, claim to be the victim of a violation as a result of the mere existence of secret measures, even if they were not applied to him."

Fantastic! I utterly agree, and am delighted to see such a ruling.

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Of Asses and Mules/Trojans and Viruses

"However, the Government also said that Kennedy's Article 8 claim should be dismissed because "he had not established a reasonable likelihood … that his communications had been intercepted.""

Given the campaign waged by Kennedy I would have thought that the more logical conclusion would have been the exact opposite and there was every likelihood and a most definite probability of such shenanigans. And given what we may know of all dodgy governments, more than very likely, a sure fire darned certainty.

Ergo is the ruling a perversion and subversion of natural justice and quite typical of laws dreamt up and delivered subjectively by and for asses who would think themselves above and beyond the law and laws/rules and regulations for Administered Masses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re : Of Asses ...

So, you've gone from likelihood to probability to certainty. Based on what you "may know". So much for requiring evidence - something which all the V wannabes here clamour for all the time when the cops arrest someone. Cops provide evidence? It's obviously made up! No evidence against the cops? They obviously did it! Brilliant. I'd have thought the logic of neither confirming nor denying is quite straightforward, but apparently logic isn't a requirement in the fight against The Man. Saddos.

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Re: Re : Of Asses ...

"So, you've gone from likelihood to probability to certainty. Based on what you "may know"." ..... Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 20th May 2010 13:28 GMT

Actually, AC, it was being based upon what the collective "we" may know, which as I'm sure you would be the first to agree would be precious little, rather than on everything that either a you are an I would know.

"I'd have thought the logic of neither confirming nor denying is quite straightforward,.." .... a convenient cloak behind which to hide everything both good and bad and sad is the logic behind that old trick, AC, ...... which is hardly brilliant whenever it so easily used for abuse.

Man is such a Primitive Fool, is he not, and so deluded in his thinking and protestations that he is not?

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Open and Free

The policy of "neither confirm nor deny" does not fit well with the concept of an open and free society.

It provides shelter for malfeasance in officialdom.

It provides a hiding place for inconventient truths.

It provides everything that our fathers fought against.

Bad bad bad.

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If you look closely...

...you'll find out whether or not the article has been checked for tautological sentences or not.

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Joke

Convicted of a crime he didn't commit, you say?

Are you sure his name isn't actually Dr David Banner?

'Cos if it is, then it's just possible the other guy in the cell made him angry...

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FAIL

And yet...

... we had Alan Johnson, former Labour Home Secretary on TV trying to mock Nick Clegg's "Rampant hyperbole" and claiming that he was taking "a number of separate issues and puts them together and suggests we're in a surveillance society."

Perhaps Mr Johnson would like to reconsider those words...?

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Anonymous Coward

In summary...

... if they decide to come after you you're screwed. I mistakenly considered being able to defend against misappropriation of state mechanisms the whole point of human rights, but since Guantanomo Bay it's clear it's not - glad this is now cleared up for the UK as well.

It means that defending against the state should be pretty much your basic stance, which is a shame - it's much better if you can help the state defend against the bad guys instead of having to defend your own rights, but I guess it's easier to go after a citizen whose details you have instead of having to put any real work with (gasp) a potential for failure.

I don't have any confidence in the control process for RIPA warrants until it is possible to get the facts afterwards. There should be transparency and accountability, so it can be seen who follows the rules and for whom the rules are merely an inconvenience.

This New Labour legacy is going to take some time to clean up, if ever.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure 'New Labour' is the correct target here.

"Defense of the Realm", while fictional, portrayed a circumstance in which Citizens held information about state misdeeds and tried to make them public in "The Public Interest" and were murdered and/or pressured into silence. Not by Politicians but by agents of the State. Whether or not this was at the behest of the state or not is the moot point.

Politicians in Power, like managers in any large organisation, can often be pressured by their professional colleagues to undertake action that they, with hindsight, perhaps wish the hadn't. This would include creating laws and using the flock of sheep that pass for fellow members of parliament. They are then forced by inertia and precedent to defend and maintain them even if/when they don't believe. While Politicians are often to blame for poor legislation their invisible and unaccountable 'Advisers' both within and without the Civil and public service cannot be held to account for their own agenda. It is only ever the Civil and Public servants who carry out the acts and they must, and must know they will, be held to account. Any other way lies tyranny.

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Big Brother

doublespeak doubletime

War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.

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Anonymous Coward

RIP RIPA, hopefully..?

Come on folks, time for some campaigning before the new lot go native...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/may/19/nick-clegg-great-reform-act-laws-repealed

Not brave enough to campaign unanonymously though...

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Big Brother

Human Rights? Societal Wrongs!

This case admirably demonstrates why WE DON"T NEED HUMAN RIGHTS!

Before we had a European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), every individual was born free, the only people that had to be kept informed of their limits were governing politicians and civil servants. An individual, was subject first to his parent's rules and then as an adult, to the rules of the state, these rules describe the things that as a member of a household/society, you may not do; everything else was legal.

Then along came some very clever politicians (socialists, fascists and control freaks in general) who thought it would be a good idea to reverse the above situation. So we have now morphed from a society which has Magna Carta (which describes the limits of government) to a society with an ECHR (which describes the limits of human freedom), basically it is a list of the very limited number of things that we are allowed to do. This has been the case since around 1948, but it has just been reinforced, as it is enshrined within the Lisbon Putsch.

All the time that the Tories were in opposition, they had a policy of repealing our adoption of ECHR... This was actually the usual mealy-mouthed Tory crap, but along with a referendum on the Lisbon Putsch (which was also abandoned), it might have had some legs in what should be the universal quest by us (the hoi-polloi) to retrieve our real rights, which is the right to do anything we like except what is expressly proscribed by the state.

Of course as the CON-servatives always do, they have reneged on everything immediately, only they didn't even win the election, they have had to invent a majority and then devise a new rule (here comes Godwin!) to maintain a hypothetical majority, just like Hitler's "Enabling Act".

Anyone who thought that Gordon Brown was bad has not seen anything yet, this new bloke is dangerous...

Dangerous Dave!

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ECHR

And I thought that it stood for the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. A sad day for the liberty of the individual. Clearly RIPA should be repealed and surveillance permitted only on the writ of a High Court Master or more senior judge who must be convinced of the essential nature of the surveillance.

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Troll

@ chr0m4t1c

Not if you saw Malcolm Kennedy - even after doing a Hulk he would still only be the size of a munchkin...

How he could have done what he was accused would stretch even Littlejohn's powers of exaggeration

in the words of a superhero- Flame On!

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Flame

contain letters and/or digits

An external court which is about as objective as you're going to get examined the case in detail and determines that the UK has reasonable, appropriate and sufficiently strict controls on the use of surveillance by the state.

On the other hand, they don't know as much about it as an el Reg commenter.

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WTF?

an open and free society?

The policy of "neither confirm nor deny" does not fit well with the concept of an open and free society

First 7 words of the caution we are all given upon arrest:

"You do not have to say anything."

You have a problem when the same rule is used because YOU want to know something? Yeah, get rid of the government, I want you in charge instead.

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