Councils to lose ‘snooping’ powers
Campaigners have attacked as lacking credibility, Government plans to curtail local authorities' investigatory powers.
Under proposals to be outlined today by Home Secretary, Theresa May, councils would be stripped of their powers – held under the The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 - to access information belonging to private individuals including phone calls, emails and Internet use.
However, police and security forces would instead be given enhanced powers to access such communications data under provisions in the draft Communications Bill, published on the day prime minister David Cameron is questioned by the Leveson inquiry into media ethics.
Ms May said: ‘Communications data is vital for the police in their fight against crime – including serious offences such as child abuse, drug dealing and terrorism.
‘These measures are necessary to protect the public and investigate crime, and that is the only reason for which they should be used. That is why I think it is right that we look again and ask whether local authorities really need access to communications data.’ But Nick Pickles, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch said since 2005, requests by local authorities to intercept communications data accounted for a mere 10,000 out of more than 2.7 million requests made by the police and other public bodies. Mr Pickles said: ‘To rush out an announcement about local councils is neither a serious review nor a credible effort to protect civil liberties.’ ‘The Home Office is trying to hide an unprecedented level of surveillance of the entire population behind a miniscule concession of removing the ability to access communications data from local councils,’ Mr Pickles continued
My post below should read "as long as the powers are NOT being abused"Gordon Catchlove, Fraud Officer, City of Edinburgh Council, Added: Friday, 15 June 2012 06:41 AM
I'd be interested to know if this is just a follow on from the Protection of Freedom's Bill. If so it has no relevance here in Scotland. But i do agree that as long as the powers are being abused by LA's then what's the problem. LA's probably deal with many issues that are criminal matters but the police do not deal with as they are not a priority to them.Gordon Catchlove, Added: Friday, 15 June 2012 06:38 AM
More absolutely stupid policy making by this group of charlatan ministers that call themselves a government! These powers are only used when necessary, this is a cheats charter to rob the public purse!Graham Greenwood, Added: Thursday, 14 June 2012 04:59 PM
Requests for communications data are audited by Interception of Communications Commissioner. In the last report the inspectors concluded that in local authorities effective use was being made of the data to investigate the types of criminal offences which cause harm to the public, and many of which, if communications data were not available, would be impossible to investigate and would therefore go unpunished. Local authorities are being used a sacraficial lamb to the detriment of the public.Peter Adamson, Trading Standards Manager, Moray Council, Added: Thursday, 14 June 2012 04:38 PM
|Back||Top of page|