By Paul Stuart and Paul Mitchell
30 August 2008
In a further escalation of the attack on democratic rights, the Labour government is proposing a huge increase in state surveillance. It is implementing new measures under the pretext of the “war on terror” to intrude ever deeper into the private lives of people who are viewed as potential criminals rather than citizens.
As things stand, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) introduced in 2004 allows hundreds of public bodies to monitor communications without a court warrant. The Commissioner for the Interception of Communications, Paul Kennedy, oversees 795 agencies and organisations permitted by RIPA to acquire communications data. These include 9 intelligence agencies, 52 police forces, 12 other law enforcement agencies, 139 prisons, 475 local authorities, and 108 other organisations such as the Post Office and the Food Standards Agency.
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