08 June 2008

No ID Card Function Creep? Pull the Other One

Here's an interesting blast from the past, courtesy of that nice Mr Charles Clarke, one-time home secretary:

This letter was sent about eight years ago as a reply to my Member of Parliament, Bill Cash, in response to the second of two letters I wrote complaining about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers bill that was then being considered by Parliament.

As you can see from the second paragraph on the second page, the Minister of State responsible for the legislation categorically denied that access to 'communications data' would be extended to local authorities.

Got that? No access to communications data by local authorities making use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, word of honour.

Oh, but wait:

Powers designed to allow spying on terror suspects have been used by South Kesteven District Council to investigate anti-social behaviour and fly tipping.

The council carried out surveillence on the public nine times between April 2007 and April 2008, permitted by legislation in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Now, tell me again why we should trust the UK government over ID cards? At least it seems a few other people are beginning to have their doubts:

The government should limit the data it collects on citizens for its ID card scheme to avoid creating a surveillance society, a group of MPs has warned.

The Home Affairs Select Committee called for proper safeguards on the plans for compulsory ID cards to stop "function creep" threatening privacy.

It wants a guarantee the scheme will not be expanded without MPs' approval.

Maybe the Home Secretary could give her word that will never happen....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...or anyone or anything else for that matter. p