re: Private Prosecution
This has already followed that path. The original criminal complaint I made to the City of London Police was, as you know, concluded with an assessment of "No criminal intent". As a result I wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking for permission to bring a private prosecution. The DPP agreed to this but RIPA is different to most other laws, all breaches are required to be prosecuted by the CPS - so even though consent for a private prosecution was granted it still went to the CPS.
This had a number of benefits:
1. I was not liable for the costs of the prosecution should the CPS decide to go forward with a prosecution.
2. It effectively allowed me to bypass the police completely and go straight to the CPS.
There were also some consequences too of course:
1. CPS commenced with an investigation instead of going directly to prosecution in order to determine if a conviction would be likely and whether or not it would be in the public interest.
2. CPS passed the case to DS Barry Murray to investigate - this is exactly the same DS Barry Murray who investigated the original criminal complaint - the same DS who claimed RIPA was only relevant to public authorities (despite the legislation explicitly stating otherwise) and admitted to being a technophobe - the same DS who concluded in the original investigation that there had been no criminal intent.
It has been very frustrating too - the CPS have taken an incredibly long time to carry out their "investigation" - 744 days at the time of writing this comment. In that 744 days they have only spent 74 hours working on this case. When you put that into context, the average time it takes the CPS to reach a decision on whether or not to prosecute is 9 days - it would seem that the CPS haven't taken the case very seriously.
That said, I am still not sure what their decision will be. A big part of me believes that they will decide not to prosecute - citing not in the public interest as their reason. If this happens I will be forced to apply for a judicial review, which is expensive.
Then there is the optimist in me that thinks they will decide to prosecute and with the ongoing action by the EU Commission against the UK on this issue in the EU Court of Justice - this could be a real possibility.
Andrew Hadik (from the CPS) has told me they hope to reach a decision by the end of November with the caveat that that is not a definite date - so we might know in the next couple of weeks.
Needless to say, if the CPS don't push forward with a prosecution there will be outrage and I will start the fund raiser for the Judicial Review and of course file yet another complaint with the European Commission.
So I guess we just have to wait and see.