Monday, June 23, 2008

It never fails

As soon as a government entity gets expanded powers, they tend to abuse them. After all, the infrastructure is already in place, and we're the bosses, the thinking tends to go.

City councils across England are now being warned that the widespread abuse of covert surveillance of their subjects is being scrutinized, and that curbs on their spying powers may very well result. It seems that the good councils have been caught doing some good old-fashioned snooping:

"There has been growing anger about the methods used by councils to probe minor crimes, such as dog fouling.
The powers were introduced under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act as part of the Government's anti-terror drive but it is claimed some councils are abusing the powers."

You mean not cleaning up after your dog isn't terrorism? Well, hush my puppies.

The commoners are also getting fed up with having their phone calls and email messages monitored by the busybodies without justification:

"Figures released by councils under the Freedom of Information Act show that the telephone and email records of thousands of people have been accessed under the Act."

There is absolutely no good reason for local government entities to even have this level of monitoring capability, much less deploying it in the absence of a serious crime. Catching old lady Myrtle who lets her dogs crap in the street and nabbing Nigel the illegal trash dumper should be done the old-fashioned way, by good police work, not by spying 24/7 on the entire population's activities and communications.

Thank God the British subjects are beginning to realize what an Orwellian state they're living in, and starting to make some noise about it.

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