March 31, 2004

Turning on the Taps

Under the guise of gathering evidence against the UK's 5000 most persistent offenders, characterised as teenage "tearaways", Tony Blair has proposed relaxing surveillance laws. This would include increasing the power to tap phones and emails.

Currently, the law restricts phone tapping so that it can only be used against those over 21 who are likely to commit an offence punishable by a sentence of at least three years. Not good enough for Tony. He said, “The Metropolitan Police believe the threshold is too high for intrusive surveillance and prevents them from carrying out such activity on the people who may be prolific offenders but whose offending has not reached the level required by the Act. We will review this situation with them and, if necessary, legislate to give the police the powers they need.”

Of course once they modify the law, there little to keep the police from doing whatever they want. They will listen when and where they want. They will read any email.

Home Secretary David Blunkett published a White Paper on Monday proposing a British version of the FBI. I think the letters he's looking for are KGB.

Posted by david at March 31, 2004 11:21 PM | TrackBack