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A society of secret lists and snoopers
Take the case of Jane Clift, a former care worker from Slough, who was threatened by a drunk she saw trampling flowers in a park. The police advised her to tell the council, which was campaigning for people to report anti-social incidents. After several phone calls and a letter of complaint, because Miss Clift felt her case was not being taken seriously, she was devastated to receive a letter from the council telling her that she'd been put on a register of potentially violent persons. She was deemed a "medium"-level threat – the same as a sex offender. Local organisations, including hospitals, libraries and schools, were alerted to her status so that she became, in her words, a "pariah", and left the city.
It took her four years to clear her name. Last month, a jury awarded her £12,000 in libel damages after finding that what had been recorded by Slough council officials about Mrs Clift "was not true".
These are the high-profile cases. There are tens of thousands more that remain secret – names on lists that are ticking time bombs. The "lives of others" has become the increasing pre-occupation of officialdom, and none of us should sleep easier for it.
Application for extension of powers under RIPA Act 2000
The Gambling Commission has applied to the Home Office for an extension of its powers to obtain communications data under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Gambling Act 2005 gives the Commission extensive legal powers to investigate and prosecute a range of criminal offences related to gambling.
Increasing the Commission's current powers to obtain communications data will allow it to undertake this new work effectively, while recognising the importance of safeguarding individual privacy. The Commission's application is being considered alongside applications from other public bodies and will be debated in the House of Lords on 19 June and in the House of Commons on 29 June.
The Commission has published a policy paper setting out the rationale for the extension of the Commission's access to communications data, the circumstances in which this new power will be used, and the safeguards put in place to protect the privacy of individuals. The paper can be downloaded from the ‘Policy and research' section of this website.
© Act Now Training Limited 1
SURVEILLANCE LAW/RIPA TRAINING COURSES
BY Act Now Training Limited
Our Approach: We try to present a practical training session with an emphasis on allowing
delegates to do their job whilst respecting the law. We do not see any merit in taking too strict
an approach that puts barriers in your day to day activities.
All these courses are designed to be delivered at your premises. If you prefer to send
delegates to external courses please visit the Act Now Training website at
Content: Surveillance Law is a generic term which incorporates various legislation which
governs the way the public sector carries out surveillance. The main Act is the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The following courses concentrate on this but also
look at other legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998(DPA).
What courses are available?
1. Full Day Surveillance Law RIPA Workshop
2. Basic Half Day Training Course
3. RIPA: Accessing Communications Data Workshop
4. Home Office Accredited SPoC Training Course
5. Email and Internet monitoring
We set out below some examples of RIPA/Surveillance Law course outlines. These can
all be tailored to meet the needs of the delegates:
1. Full Day Surveillance Law RIPA Workshop
A workshop on the law which applies to surveillance of people, premises and
communications. This course will help you prepare for an OSC inspection.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2002 (RIPSA) govern the way the public sector (e.g. police, councils, fire, ambulance and NHS) does surveillance on people, premises and communications. This
interactive course, packed full of case studies, will explain RIPA and RIPSA in detail, as well as examine related legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 1998.