back to article Government begins RIPA review

The Government will review the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), the law that governs state tapping of phone, email and internet use. The law will be looked at as part of a wider review of counter-terrorism laws. Civil liberties campaigners criticised several anti-terrorism laws introduced by the …


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Anonymous Coward

It's not difficult

>It's a question of how many bodies have powers

You don't need more than the IQ of an amoeba to realise that the real security services need certain powers, the police need less and local authorities do not need any.



The operative word is "regulation". Does anyone really believe there was no surveillance before 2000.

The Act actually curtailed what was going on.


Why did local authorities have these powers in the first place?!

It'd not be THAT bad if you had a dedicated RIPA team working under intense scrutiny to make sure they followed the rules.

But giving the eejits that said it'd take _300 years_ to fix the roads in Aberdeen all those powers is just wrong.

If RIPA is kept, it should be a dedicated team who looks at it. After all, Terrorism isn't that much of a problem in the UK, so it shouldn't take too many people to collect the data required to look for them.


What powers?

I'm retired from the Inland Revenue. Once, before RIPA, I was dealing with a letter from an "accountant". A long rambling pointless letter, that couldn't be taken seriously. So I walked past his "business address" during my lunch hour. It was a day centre run by the local authority. Both the "accountant" and "client" attended it.

Once the Act came in, it was made quite clear to us that we couldn't do things like that. Not without getting permission and filling in loads of paperwork first

The Act was never a charter for unbridled surveillance. If the matter was likely to end up in court, any evidence gathered couldn't be evidence that the court would rule inadmissible. Either before or after RIPA..

Anonymous Coward

I dunno

"National security is the first duty of government"

Personally I think National Welfare is more important (as in, making sure the populace is in sound body and mind) and I suspect the constant TERRORISTORZ WILL KILL YOU, PEADOPHILES WILL RAPE YOUR CHILDREN, IMMIGRANTS WILL STEAL YOUR HOUSE AND JOB, etc, at the very least does harm to our mental welfare... That's before we get onto the "lock em up and let em rot" rehabilitation culture we have, to the point where the shooting of 3 people may have been averted if the powers that be had listened to a man pleading for psychiatric care and assesment.

Of course it's the kind of thing repeated again and again (for example peadophiles who've wanted chemical castrattion but can't get it because they havn't commited a crime, or an underfunded failing social service not having time to properly assess cases resulting in deaths and abuse.)

No none of that matters, we need to fight the terrorists. That's the nations number one priority.

I wonder how many people have died as a result of the terrible state of mental and social health care in this country? Not to mention the numbers left living a substandard life.

Country needs to sort its prioritise out, but that'll never happen while the media is so juvenille.


Ah, bless the ConDems

They're all about decentralising power, except when they're all about centralising power.

As noted above, RIPA is the only thing standing between what we have now (a camera on every street corner) and what we'd have if ACPO got its druthers (a camera looking in every window).

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The point you're missing...

... is that, as with many other New Labour laws, the RIPA is vague and ill-defined and pretty much as soon as it was brought in, started experiencing major function creep as, for instance Local Councils etc suddenly realised that "hey, we can spy on people to check they live in the right place to send their kid to this school, the law says we can!".

The aim of the review is to ensure that Investigatory Powers are *properly* regulated and targetted to where they are needed, rather than to where they are wanted.

Anonymous Coward

Maybe I won't need to emigrate after all

I've never objected to a government agency that thinks I'm a security risk taking the time to break into my house, insert key loggers, cameras and other bugs in my computer equipment, and monitor what I'm doing. The reason I don't object to this is that it's time-consuming and expensive, and it's hard to end up with an oppressive police state if you have to do this one person at a time.

I object to any act that allows a government agency - with their well-known 100% accuracy rate - to say "decrypt this file from 1993 for us, or we'll lock you up; we'll also lock you up if you tell anyone we asked". I still have back-up CDs with content from the 1990s on, and I doubt I can remember every password I used. If you think I'm a security risk, bug my computer. If you think I'm one of millions of people who *might* be a security risk, I'm sorry, but I'm not happy with any monitoring that's intrusive to lots of people. Recent authorities may be more bumbling than vindictive, but I don't like a legal system being in place which supports malicious overlords should they get into power - we had enough of that last century.

It's right for the police to keep asking for more surveillance powers - it's their job to spot every threat to society, because they'll get it in the neck when something slips through. But it's also reasonable for someone to draw the line when this surveillance is itself a threat.

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"Proportionate and Transparent"

*Never* thought I'd hear that from a Conservative Home Secretary.

I hate to be a kill joy but pre-RIPA there was *no* framework to even *ask* the security services what they were doing. Phorm for example would have *no* law it could (and should) be prosecuted for breaking.

A bad law, but a start for seeing what has worked, what is pants and what should be done better.

Thumbs up as I think this is a *good* thing.

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