back to article Tories call for more freedom for snoopers

The Tory Party is calling for less restriction of police snooping because current laws are "placing a disproportionate burden" on investigations of "volume crime". The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was introduced in 2000 to provide oversight of public bodies' use of communications data, CCTV footage and other forms of …


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  1. Paul R


    If you have nothing to hide yada yada yada.

    I'll get my coat, it's the one with the RFID chip, GPS transponder, and anti-foil hat technology built in.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Not on your sweet life....

    Now I'll have to find someone else to vote for Monster Raving Looney anyone???

    FFS will someone found a viable alternative to the collective showers of SH*T that we seem to have in politics today.

    As someone who has nothing to hide and no reason to be snooped upon I do not want my privacy invaded for some spurious reason camoflaged as police work. All it would take is a malicious or fictitious phone call from a nutter to say you were a dealer, terrorist or thief to give them an excuse.

    BTW I did 20 years in the Police, they should have to go to a Judge for consent, they can't be trusted.

  3. Gordon Pryra

    Jesus christ /face_palm

    And the Tories were doing so well too

    "so that authorisation - and all the paperwork that goes with it - is not required for basic police work"

    Those few words puts the idiot behind Labor when it comes to my vote, and that took a lot of doing....

  4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Other great comments that Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve might say...

    1. "It's not fair that the Police should be held accountable for anything... it is the Police after all, how else are they supposed to get results?"

    2. "No, I don't think that reforming the Police force so that it becomes an attractive career option and therefore attracting the bright and the good and therefore helping to reduce the "disproportionate burden" of actually doing any work by the introduction of efficient case management procedures and support is a worthwhile goal to be aiming for. It's much easier to ride roughshod over the privacy of the population to get results... because I won't be in office when my sucessor gets taken to court over it."

    3. "My shoelaces have become undone... can anybody help me?"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    David Davis for Tory PM

    You know the court in the US ruled thermal imaging/imaging cameras of houses to be invasive search needing a warrant. In UK it just needs permissions. They did that when they saw you can essentially see straight through the walls with these cameras as though the walls are not there.

    Cameron is simply a double-it person. Whatever Labour says, Cameron simply says "we'll do twice as much". Labour remove a bunch of judicial checks, Cameron stands up and promises to remove twice as many judicial checks. Labour add yet more petty laws, Cameron promises to add twice as many petty laws. Reduce the speed limit to 30 on motorways? Cameron will reduce it to -30!

    Which is why Davis would be a better leader.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We need less snooping

    And I was going to vote Tory!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Like that'll make a difference!

    How many of you have seen signs warning that: "This is a high crime area; lock up your valuables and don't leave them on display in your car"... or words to that effect.

    It is obvious that the Police KNOW where the crimes are taking place and where the Criminals live; but they just choose to put up signs so we get blamed for the break-ins, instead of putting a few more coppers on the streets where crimes are taking place.

    The Police KNOW where the Crims are. The cunts in the Insurance companies know where the crimes are taking place. The Police just don't want to act on that knowledge. They just prefer to persecute motorists (cos of the income and easy nature and low risk of the target) and watching CCTV footage (spying).

    We pay our taxes and get Fuck-all for it!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All the parties tow the same media fueled neo-con line.

    More police on the beat (as if that has ever changed anything - except for the short term in localised areas), more power to those police, less burocracy(less responsibility and accountability), quicker judicial system (less protections for defendents - more chance of innocents being convicted), more prison terms, wash, rince, dry, repeat.

    Live with it. Becouse in Britain, their ain't no other choice.

    Oh and the police will never be happy, that's just the way they are, they want more power, more men, ever lower levels of proof, ever lower levels for suspicion. It's just the way they're wired - it's why they're police, and it's why they should never be given political power. It isn't a bad thing, you need people like that to police society. However you also need sensible, ethical and just people creating laws.

    Remember the scales of justice?

    Meh - whatever.

  9. Steve

    I've got a better idea...

    Stop employing the dregs of the education system as police officers. Most of their paperwork would get done a lot quicker if they employed people who read.

    Last time I and a friend had to give a statement to the police, we had a bet over who could confuse plod the most by using long words and then watching him struggle to spell them. You've just got to be really polite and helpful while you do it or they figure out that you're taking the piss.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two questions

    1. Who'll be a Tory voter now? (Not forgetting Cameron's silly mouthings about S. Ossetia yesterday).

    2. Who'll be a policeman's wife now?

  11. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    Kids! Don't Do Drugs!

    Or you might end up saying shit like Dominic Grieve has and looking just as much of a twat!

    Seriously - he's gotta be on hallucinogenics of some form to think that this is a good idea. The Tories are ramming Labour in the polls, so he says "you know these things you hate about Labour? Well, we're gonna do them more!! "

    Twat. Bring Back DD!!!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I was gonna vote for Cameron - he sent me a letter saying he'll repeal the ID card legislation. Sadly, I don't believe it's worth the nice expensive paper it's written on.

    All is not lost. Us IT persons are making a nice living in New Zealand. Just waiting for the visa to arrive.

    Paris, because she's coming too.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How bad can it be?

    The Tories have got the next election sewn up. Vote lib-dem and send them a message. They'll still get in but then people get to see that some people do care about not having weirdos spying on their children day in day out.

  14. David Barr

    I can agree with some of it

    But not with all of it.

    I don't see any reason why police should need authorisation to use CCTV or automatic number plate recognition. The rest I'm not sure on.

    Rather than require permission in advance, have random audits to make sure bobbies aren't spying on their ex-wife to find out who she's shagging.

    As for Cameron just echoing what Labour say, but saying "more" I have to agree there. It seems as if he was put in place to be more Tony Blair than Tony Blair. I'd much prefer someone else. But don't forget this is not America, we're not voting in President Cameron, we're voting in the Conservative Party.

  15. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down


    Thatcher was the traitorous, authoritarian toe-rag that taught NuLab everything they know about fucking over the populace.

    When the Tories get back in, rent-a-plod and "contractors" will be able to snoop with impunity too!

  16. Lukin Brewer

    Why are the Tories better than NuLab?

    Because they're not in power. So their ability to do harm is reduced.

    Having lived through the Thatcher/Major years, and watched them do their best to stamp on dissent and the freedoms of anyone who wasn't rich, the claims by commenters that the Tories would reverse NuLab's encroachments always seemed a little far-fetched.

    Thatcher pulled off the trick of making a socialist party (even to the extent that Labour were socialist) unelectable. So while Major was minding the wheel, Blair made Labour into a lite version of the Tory Party, and promised to make all the Tories' most popular policies work. Policy-wise, the parties are now largely identical.

    Interestingly, the first publication I saw that tipped Blair for the top job was... British sc-fi comic 2000AD, in mid 1993. The line was:

    - "Looks like the British PM has gone for the suicide option!"

    - "Who would have thought Tony Blair would be such a sore loser."

    But now, let me offer you a scene from a Britain of the future, where the people decide how the country is run...

    - What'll it be, guv?

    - Pint of Stella, mate, two pints of Tennants, double scotch, two cheese and onion, two crispy bacon, three pork scratchings, and two more of those foolscap pads. Oh, and another flipchart pad, and, hang on, oh, a half a Guinness for Bob - 'cos he's chairing. Gotta knock this bleedin' submission on the 'ead tonight, my son.

    - Good luck with that, mate. Football's on the big screen in half an hour.

    - Tell me about it! Y'know, time was when we had bureaucrats to handle this sort of thing...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And there are people who believe that if the Tories get into power they will back track on the whole ID card thing. Based on this article it would appear that fast track seems more likely.

  18. Nebulo


    Until this came out, there was a danger of me having to vote for them. Now I can abstain in the secure knowledge that they really are all as bad as each other.

  19. Dave

    Send in the clowns

    Its clear from most of the comments so far that few of you have any idea what you're talking about.

    AC 14:48

    "All it would take is a malicious or fictitious phone call from a nutter to say you were a dealer, terrorist or thief to give them an excuse."

    No, it wouldn't. And if you were in the police for 20 yrs you'd know that so I'm calling bulls*%t on that one.

    AC 14:53

    Yeah, permission from THE HOME SECRETARY. And how often do you think that happens? You know what, no one is that interested in what you get up to. Its like exchange admins, sure they can read all your emails, but who'd want to, they have better things to do.

    AC 15:11

    They do indeed know who the crims are. But here's what happens:

    Plod is out on the beat (okay, suspend your disbelief for that at least) and sees "fingers" murphy, well known and prolific burglar at 2 in the morning walking about outside YOUR house, which is in a nice area and miles and miles from where murphy lives. They could stop and speak to him of course and ask what he's doing but hey, its a free country guv, I can walk wheres I like, innit. Plod now fills in foot long stop and question form and provides carbonated copy to murphy which he keeps. After all, if he's stopped again he can complain about police harassment.

    But murphy doesn't know he's been spotted. So Plod could follow at a discreet distance, or call for a plain clothes Plod - see if murphy either goes into any of the driveways or picks up a bag of tools from a car, tries some door handles maybe, looks in any windows. Heaven forbid, even tries to break into a house leading to his arrest and trip to court for the day.

    Except Pold can't. because that counts as directed surveillance and requires RIPA authorisation, a huge form and approval by someone who is probably senior enough to be on call at home, in bed.

    Basic Police work. Like hanging round in area where theres been a number of assaults, or dealing drugs, in plain clothes to try and CATCH people not wait for someone to report being beaten up again, or worse. All these things need forms upon forms sent to one person, than another, then another for approval.

    You think plod on the street has microwave imaging and lasser guided microphones and phonetaps in their pockets? Grow up.

    Police red tape in this country is a joke. Why don't some of you spend a day in magistrates court and see how the system treats offenders. murphy gets convicted of 1 more burglary and he might get 1 month in prison. Get convicted of 10 and he gets 10 months. Oh, only they are all concurrent, so thats still only 1 month. Bargain.


    4) Police, I've been assaulted, you have to do something! No I don't know what they looked like. No I didn't see where they went. No, no one else was with me. Well... no, not hit me, he pushed me, but thats assault, no ones allowed to push me I know my rights! You better do something or I'm making a complaint.

    Steve: Know what else is fun, calling the fire brigade when there's not even a fire! Man you should see them scratching their heads looking for ages when nothing is even burning. Serves them right for getting to sleep in work eh? lol.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Hey why don't they

    just suggest the police make the rules up as they go along? Bit like the (incompetent) politicians.

    No wonder this country is going to the dogs (or pigs). Yet another political party not to waste my vote on.

  21. Brian Bles*ed

    No Excuses only Consequences : {

    "Surveillance of homes of people subjected to repeated burglary should also be allowed, said the Conservatives." Yes time to be worried indeed...........

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So there it is folks

    The reson the Nasty Party have been so generally quiet on civil liberties and privacy, David Davies excepted.

    What chance they'll abandon ID cards then? Zero or less.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    In the United States, the phrase used is...

    " Law-Enforcement the tools they need". We hear it all the time, these days. And, every time we do... It means another swath of, fundamental-freedoms have just been unilaterally, irretrievably, extinguished.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You expect any different?

    All politicians are after the same thing, power and control. If they can control you they have power over you and very few of them would get rid of the laws that now exist. It is a one way street and only by the people rising up against them will anything be done. Unfortunately the British are like sheep and do what they are told, the security services make sure anyone who is remotely a threat is taken out as that is the main purpose of MI5. Sadly they sneaked these laws past an ignorant elecotrate on the back of a massive boom, its all downhill from here...

  25. Dave Bell

    The Police are in a mess.

    Nobody has looked at the paperwork as a whole. It's just been dumped on them, bit by bit, without any thought as to how it fits together.

    And partly it's their own fault. Because the 1970s Police in Life on Mars are not wholly invented by the writer.

    But if you ran a business with the paperwork the Police have to use, you'd go bust.

    (David Cameron is still an idiot.)

  26. Chris G Silver badge

    Emigrate now

    And the last Brit out needn't turn the lights out. The sustainable wind turbines will provide all the power they need.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Same Sh*t Diffrent Day!

    Labour - Tories

    Burger - Burger with cheese

    It really does seems as if we are a one party country.

    *\. Mines the one with the bar code, RFID, GPS and built in camera and mic fed back to a police station with every second of my life recorded for all to see because I have nothing to hide, as I am a good slave.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Send in the clowns

    And I'm glad they have to fill in all those forms. It insures they don't abuse their powers and that if they do their shall be a paper trail (or lack of one which again indicates an illegal use of powers).

    Fill in the damn forms and do your damn job, stop begging for more powers.

    Case in point, "finger Murphy" would more likely be found in a poor area as burglurys tend to happen in poor areas becouse poor people tend not to have security and curtain twitchers and people are less likely to grass him up becouse his mates all knife them.

  29. Florence Stanfield
    Thumb Down

    only one party left

    There is only one party asking awkward questions at present on this governments hunger to spy on citizens and that is LibDem..

    Think I know who I will vote for had moved from labour to cons now cons seem on same wave lentgh we are all guilty until spied on for innocence.

  30. Fragula The Furry

    David Davis's good work undone!

    There we are. Trust the good old Tories to ruin the opportunity that David Davis gave them, to be the party of privacy and freedom.

    Now we know, they will revert straight to form, and work steadfastly to regain their own identity that has been appropriated by New Labour, and continue the unbroken chain of national self-destructoin that Edward Heath started back in the 1970s.

    It seems to me that David Davis is wasting his energies with the Tories, and would be better defecting to, or even forming, a new party.

    Still I'd rather them blow their own feet off now, than continue the lie until after the next election. .. which must be soon, surely?

    I would of course reconsider the Tories, when an unrepentant David Davis is their leader.

    Mine is the one with the "Vote Loony" rosette.

  31. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Dave...

    I can understand your frustration with us lesser readers in that none of us has your vision or understanding of the issue at hand. But please bear with me though as I make the point that I feel that most of us managed to relate the story to those behind the scenes Police workers who would like complete access without checks or balances in place, rather than the "beat plod" as you put it; and the failure of the criminal justice system to hand out the sentences that you (or the rest of the Sun and Daily mail reading fraternity see fit)... rather than those adjudged and handed down by a trained and experienced legal practitioner.

    While I'm at it though... indeed, it is the primary role of the "beat plod" to act as a visible deterrent to "fingers Murphy" (very original that!!!) and not hs role to bring in, or be able to "call in" immediate surveillance. Any ongoing surveillance must quite rightly pass through a due process that is overseen and governed by an appropriate body. Sorry of you don't like that... but hey, tough.

    Can you also use a spell checker next time.

  32. daniel

    FFS Wake Up Everyone!

    Complain, complain, complain, moan, moan, moan....

    Remember, you voted them in, gave them the power to decide for you, then give them free rein to do whatever they want and you fscking well *let* them.

    You gave them power to defend your interests, represent you to the rest of the nation and to the world. Remember that you can also take the power to take their power away from them. You also have the right to remind them of *why* you voted them in.

    If you do not have that right, you are no living in a democracy.

    When will we see 10 000 strong march protesting in front of 10 downing street reminding the politicos of their duties to the electors? Probably never. Too difficult. People can't be stuffed. Easier to complain and sign meaningless petitions than actually doing somthing in the real world - which is the only world that politics understand.

    Vote for the party who represents your ideas not an idealology of "left good right bad" (or vice versa). Find the party even if they are an outsider and vote for them.

    If you do not vote, you cannot complain. If there is no-one to vote for with your ideas, run for office yourself. If you cannot run for office, band togeather and remind and inform those who are - or could be - in office where their personal agenda's end and where their duty to the people start, or shut up, put up and stop complaining because if you have done nothing to change the situation, it's because you are willing and able to accept it. Period.

  33. Shakje

    Vote's going lib dem

    I've voted labour most of my life, I trusted them when they originally said we needed to go into Iraq (mostly because we never know what intelligence we have). Since that trust was betrayed I decided not to support Tony Blair again. I decided to give Gordon Brown a more than fair chance, since I think he's actually pretty good at what he does, and in general, other than the big stutters of the war, Labour have been good for this country. Unemployment is the lowest since the war, and we've enjoyed a long grace period of really good living. I don't blame Brown for the current financial situation, it is clearly caused by wider problems which can't be fixed, however I also decided not to vote for his version of Labour as soon as they tried to push through 42-day detention laws, as much for the problems I have with the laws as the way in which it was done.

    The Tories are even worse. No-one seems to remember the horrible mess they made of our country, being Scottish, the poll tax is a particularly bad memory. Right now, we have a very different Tory beast, but it's a beast none the less. The current Tory party appears overly concerned with basing its policies on the front pages of the Sun and the Mail, in a horribly knee-jerk and, quite frankly, dangerous fashion.

    Lib Dems aren't the strongest party, but I find that they have the best general policies, are measured, and don't want to turn our country into a cordoned-off police state. Nick Clegg is a likeable guy, he doesn't have the best background, but every time I've seen him in a debate, he's handled himself exceptionally well, and said some really sensible things.


    So you're saying that the police should be able to follow anyone that they deem suspicious? I quite like the idea that you can't just follow/intimidate anyone they please based on their personal opinions. Yes, sentencing is bad at the moment, but that's an entirely seperate issue.

  34. Mark

    Re: Two questions

    "2. Who'll be a policeman's wife now?"


    If I'm going to get fucked by the police, I might as well get the widows pension for it...

  35. Mark

    Re:FFS Wake Up Everyone!

    "Remember, you voted them in, gave them the power to decide for you, then give them free rein to do whatever they want and you fscking well *let* them."

    Nope, 25% of the people voted them in.

  36. EvilGav

    @ Re:FFS Wake Up Everyone!

    Nope, less than 20% of the population voted them in, actually closer to 19%.

    IIRC it's around 10.5million people, the Tory's were around 9.5million and LibDem around 9million.

    Based on the voting population, we should have had a hung parliament.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh get a f'sking grip you raving loons...

    ... and please name me a country where this type of crap doesn't happen!

    Yes, your civil liberties are being trampled on.

    Yes, we'll end up having to fight to get them back.

    Yes, they'll end up being trampled on again...

    ... rinse and repeat.

    The trick is trying to find the lesser of two evils - want law and order AND complete freedom? - sorry, that doesn't exist.

    Tell you what, if you want a truly free country where the law is virtually non-existent and you can do pretty much what the bloody hell you want, try South Africa.

    Lovely country, highest crime rate in the world. Truly, this place is the wild west.

    Hey, how about the opposite extreme, Australia? Now there's a country that leans heavily toward the right. Your legally required to vote - good weather though.

    New Zealand - hmm, great fun living 30 years in the past.

  38. Dave

    @ Shakje

    Absolutely not, but you shouldn't need to fill in forms to follow someone who's known to be a burglar, at a time and in a location and in circumstances that look like they could be about to do it again.

    Thats way different from stopping someone who "just doesn't fit in" for being in a middle class area in a hoodie, or with the wrong skin colour, and hassling them. That is wrong and rightly challenged.

    Or if my car was stolen during the night I'd prefer if ANPR cameras could look for it right away not not wait until a form had been filled and sent to someone working office hours.

    My exchange analogy still stands, and it has become the case with information held by ISPs, even will full access theres just so much data that no one has the resources to look through it unless its for a specific reason. That's not to say there shouldn't be accountability, of course there should. but would you be happy if you were the victim of a crime and the person responsible got away because the checks and balances prevented the police from acting in time? I'm just not sure the balance is right.


    Criticising spelling, the last recourse of a pedant. My "vision" is just reading whats ACTUALLY being suggested and not reading the headline and crying "OMG its another nail in the coffin of civil liberty, we're doooooomed!"

    And incidentally, if you can spot an "experienced" legal professional in the CPS you win a prize.

    @Brian Bles*ed

    Isn't the suggestion that if YOUR house is burgled repeatedly the police should be able to watch YOUR house so if they come back again they can be caught? You'd object to that?

    Police need to be, and as far as i can see _mostly_ are, accountable. But equally clear is that its not a case of plod doing their job AND filling in forms, its either or. Which is why they're not on the street being a deterrent, which for my money, is where they're meant to be. Instead we have people in police looking uniforms doing it for them. If you prefer them filling in forms to catching criminals then we've got the police you want right now so no need to complain. If you want to emigrate fair dos, is there another country where its any better?

  39. Anonymous Coward


    "... and please name me a country where this type of crap doesn't happen!"

    Exactly the sort of attitude displayed by the politicians. The public is screaming for a better society yet the law makers' pitiful ambition is to aim for mediocrity. And they even fail at that.

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