"RIPA is not anti-terror legislation. "
I'm with elReg on that, the justification is there right in the first paragraph of RIPA, the intention of RIPA was clear.
"An Act to make provision for and about the interception of communications, ... to the carrying out of their functions by the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Headquarters; and for connected purposes."
So RIPA was drafted for "Security service" "Secret Intelligence Service" and GCHQ. No mention of 'local council dog poop' in the intro.
2002 Added local authorities (and a bunch of other agencies, even politicaly controlled ones) to the list of agency. This causes a backlash, people are very unhappy that any local official can have a look at their private phone, and other records.
2003 Sought to address the backlash with a 'code of practise' and a 'commissioner'. A few sops, essentially the core problem remained, non judges issuing letters equivalent to legal warrants without the right to consider the privacy right.
2004 Leveraged the EU mutual assistence treaty to extend RIPA to intercepting info for non UK people, and also non UK countries can require the RIPA data.
2005, Port authorities added to RIPA, now the Port of Liverpool can demand your records, without a warrant. Nuclear police (the private security agency that protects nuclear power stations) get the snoop powers too. Snoop powers for everyone!
2006 we had the demands for data retention in the EU, 'for national security purposes'. Effectively this killed the right of privacy by allowing data to be stored for people not suspected of crime.
2007 further expansion of RIPA.
By 2008 the data grabbed in 2006 is being made available for other purposes other than national security, see Home office recent internal memos. + data mining of all stored data.
By 2010 I expect all Brown/Smith will have all transaction monitored for every purpose with no right to privacy.