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Waugh hits out at RIP

Literary duffer joins the opposition

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Those battling against the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) bill and the British Government's bid to limit people's privacy online have a new, literate ally.

Yesterday, Auberon Waugh - one of the Telegraph's finest curmudgeons - took his pen to Home Secretary Jack Straw over the Government's handling of Net issues in his column Way of the World.

Waugh was sceptical about the impact of heavier sentences for those caught peddling kiddie porn.

"No doubt there are sound reasons for this, although I would have thought that the possession of indecent photographs of children was a fairly small part of the overall criminal scene in this country.

"We have a record number of burglaries and street muggings, but the police seem chiefly interested in motoring offences and the Home Secretary in child pornography," he wrote.

"How does Straw propose to catch these evil people?" asked Waugh, renowned neither as a modernist or technophile.

"He can scarcely send inspectors round to private houses to inspect their internets. Many people, like me, have not got one, but his Regulation of Investigating Powers Bill, will give his spies the right to monitor all internet and email communications without a warrant."

Quite so. ®

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