Feeds

Councils to lose some spy powers

The end for super pooper-scooper snoopers?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has opened a public consultation on how snooping laws should be used by local authorities

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, or RIPA, is the set of rules which governs how secret services can snoop on UK citizens. In recent years it has also been used, in a small percentage of cases, by local authorities to regulate how they spy on people - either by direct surveillance or by requesting communications data from ISPs and telcos.

The review will look at which authorities can use such investigatory powers and for what purposes. It will also consider raising the rank of local council civil servant allowed to authorise such activity, and whether elected councillors should have an oversight role. A survey by the LibDems found a fifth of staff allowed to instigate RIPA investigations were below senior management level.

As promised in December the Home Office will make changes to the code of practise which governs use of RIPA. This could limit the RIPA-empowered investigation of offences such as dog fouling and restrict the use of surveillance to offences like fly-tipping and rogue trading.

The vast majority of surveillance which is regulated by RIPA is carried out by police and intelligence services. In 2007 there were 519,260 requests to telcos and ISPs for comms data - local councils made just 1,707 of these.

Wacky Jacqui has also promised a review of the national DNA database after the Home Office lost its final appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and was told to delete entries for innocent people.

The consultation is open until 10 July - more details here. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.