Feeds

LibDems uncover over 10,000 RIPA yarns

Demand controls on council snooping

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Local councils are using snooping powers too readily and without proper oversight.

A survey of 180 councils by the Lib Dems has found snooping laws have been used 10,288 times in the last five years. Some 1,615 council workers can now authorise such investigations and 21 per cent of those staff are below senior management grade.

Freedom of Information requests to local councils revealed that only 9 per cent of these investigations, regulated by RIPA, led to a successful prosecution, caution or fixed-penalty notice.

Julia Goldsworthy, Lib Dem Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “This Government sees civil liberties as little more than a temporary inconvenience. Slowly but surely freedoms have been eroded. We’re now in a situation where dog fouling is considered enough to warrant surveillance by council officials.

“When RIPA was passed, only nine organisations, including the police and security services, were allowed to use it. Now a total of 795 bodies, including all 475 local authorities, can use powers that were originally designed to prevent terrorism."

The survey found 88 cases of incorrectly crapping dogs have been investigated under RIPA regulations over the last five years.

The Lib Dems want RIPA investigations to require a magistrate's signature.

Of course council use of RIPA is a tiny fraction of its total use. In 2008 total requests increased 50 per cent to 519,260 - and just 1, 707 of these were from local councils.

The LibDems are also calling for a wider review of government legislation which infringes on our liberties. These include ID cards, restrictions on trial by jury, restrictions on the right to protest, the abolition of control orders, (which allow for house arrest, curfews and controls over who people meet or talk to,) renegotiation of the Extradition Treaty signed with the US, abolition of the ContactPoint database, restoring of the right to silence and greater regulation of CCTV. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.