More RIPA Creep
I previously blogged about the UK’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which was sold as a means to tackle terrorism, and other serious crimes, being used against animal rights protestors. The latest news from the UK is that a local council has used provisions of the act to put a couple and their children under surveillance, for “suspected fraudulent school place applications”:
Poole council said it used the legislation to watch a family at home and in their daily movements because it wanted to know if they lived in the catchment area for a school, which they wanted their three-year-old daughter to attend.
This kind of thing happens again and again. When campaigning for a law’s passage, the authorities invoke the most heinous of criminals—terrorists, kidnappers, drug dealers, child pornographers—but after the law is passed, they start using it in more mundane situations.