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UK Local Councils Spy On Emails and Calls

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the apb-for-winston-smith dept.

Privacy 61

MrSteveSD writes "The Daily Mail is reporting that local councils have been using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on people's phone and email records. Reasons given for the surveillance include checking for evidence of people storing petrol without permission and investigating unburied animal carcasses. The surveillance was uncovered using Freedom of Information laws. The scope of the RIPA act is staggering. It would be simpler to list who isn't allowed to access your phone and email records. Aside from political action, what can be done technologically to combat this threat? Use Skype rather than the normal telephone?"

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Privacy (2, Funny)

Lopton (990061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679739)

Who needs it? *sigh*

Re:Privacy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680187)

Christ, I love Greek! Women just don't seem to understand that a man can find just as much pleasure in the warm confines of a well- muscled ass as they can in the satin embrace of a well-wetted cunt. Maybe we men have conditioned them too well to ignoring one hole for the other: nonetheless, every man I've talked to about it loves Greek and every woman who I've talked to about it has been less than enthusiastic. So imagine my surprise last weekend when Kathleen treated me to the joys of anal sex in what must be the first time in five or six years.

The night started our strangely. Kathleen had just finished re- arranging her large library and was exhausted. As suits my biological clock, I was just coming awake at 10 PM when she was turning in. She invited me to bed and I politely declined: I was horny as usual and told her I'd keep her awake. After a couple of more requests from her, I stripped and crawled in beside her. Kathleen loves to snuggle and wasted no time in curling her small body up next to mine. I turned and kissed her. She was oddly responsive for her tired state, and teased me with a hint of tongue in her kisses. I reached down to feel her muff and found it just beginning to rev as her right hand slipped down her belly to her clit.

I took up what has become my customary position between her legs - kneeling and using my cock as a sex toy to tickle her lower labia and the entrance to her cunt. But this time I let my aim wander lower to the wonderful curve where ass, crotch, and leg meet. I rubbed my cock against this soft crescent and expanded the stroke to brush against the entrance to her ass. I noticed that every time that my prick touched her rosebud, her strokes on her clit quickened. It wasn't long before I was pressing the tip of my cock against her asshole.

Surprise! My cock slipped easily into her ass until the entire head was buried inside, and just as I was about to pull out and apoligize, she handed me a bottle of sex lubricant and said "What the fuck? Why not?". I pulled back and poured the lubricant on my hard cock and noticed her pussy was swollen and very wet. I worked my cock back into its previous nest. It was so easy. I could feel her ass muscles relaxing and opening for me. I eased ever so slowly deeper. Such heaven! Like a warm, wet hand gripping all around my prick - so much tighter than pussy, and delightful in an entirely different way. I could feel her hips grind against me as I worked the last of my seven-plus inches into her back door. Realizing where I was and how long it had been since I'd known this pleasure, I had to fight to pull the reigns in on my orgasm.

It seemed like forever - my slow rocking pulling my cock almost full-length out of her ass before easing it back in until my balls rested against her firm buns. Her right hand furiously massaged her clit and her left hand played at the entrance of her cunt, pressing on the full length of her labia. And all the while my cock was enveloped in a firm net of gripping muscles that wrestled to bring the cum from me. "It's so weird," she said as she searched for the grip on her own orgasm. Suddenly, it was upon her. I felt her ass open up like a mouth that was just to blow up a ballon. "Are you close?" she hissed. "No," I grunted. She was close, tho'. Too close to stop. I felt her stiffen and lurch under me. "Uuhhhh! Come on you bastard! Fill my ass!" she yelled as she dug her nails into my back. Amazing what a little dirty talk will do - from that special nowhere where good men hide their orgasms until their lovers are ready, my load bolted from my crotch to my brain and back to my flushed balls. I gripped the pillow with my teeth and jerked my neck back and forth and tried not to deafen Kathleen when my cum blasted out of my cock like water from a firehose. The rush of jism racing up my tube seemed to last for stroke after stroke until sweaty Kathleen gasped, grunted, and pushed me from on top of her. Since I have a lot anal experience myself (I bottom for Zonk 3-4 times a week!), I knew the sudden discomfort of having something in your ass after you've orgasmed. I considerately slipped out of her despite not having finsihed my own orgasm to my complete satisfaction.

I kissed her and thanked her for her special gift, but she pushed me away. "Go wash off and fuck my pussy," she said " I feel like something's undone." So after a quick and thourough shower, I returned to the futon where her dripping, swollen twat waited for my not-quite-recovered cock.

And that's another story...

Look on the bright side! (3, Funny)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680271)

At least they are still giving reasons for the surveillance :)

We won't really be in trouble until they stop with the rationalizations altogether..

Right?

*sigh*

Is this for real? (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23684835)

Does the UK have a FOIA now? Last I knew, that was an American law (unless they have their own, or this was somehow discovered by things received from the American government).

Well, ok, that may be the summary's fault, because the article just mentions "freedom of information" laws, not FOIA itself.

But it's STILL a story in the Daily Mail, and not what I'd call a reputable source. Can anyone confirm this with a better source, or are we being trolled here?

Re:Is this for real? (1)

LeRandy (937290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686781)

The UK's Freedom of Information Act [opsi.gov.uk] was enacted in 2000.

Re:Is this for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23691689)

I am posting anon just because this is completely offtopic (but I just friended you). One of your previous posts in regards to creativity of the Japanese...you listed off a bunch of anime. I just had to thank you for introducing me to Death Note. What a great story.

Just to return the favor..if you haven't seen it, check out Code Geass. I think if you liked the Death Note, you will like that on as well.

Thanks for the tip :) (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698365)

No problem :) Saw you in the message center, too. Let me know via anon OT replies if you find any good anime, because I generally read all replies to my posts. I'll try and remember to do the same for you.

I'm getting Code Geass now, BTW, but it'll be a while before I get to watch it.

Understandable (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679745)

The cops want sound with the video from CCTV cameras. They were tired of having to hire silent movie pianists while they watched the citizenry.

Re:Understandable (4, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679771)

Of course they want sound. It makes being a peeping tom council worker [bbc.co.uk] so much more entertaining:

Re:Understandable (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680595)

I'm sure they'd want the CCTV cameras to be tied into some sort of national registry with facial recognition and some sort of RFID scanning/implaning /automatical arrest booth at each corner...

Re:Understandable (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23683457)

Random observation:

I remember some shops in Denmark carrying a sign saying "video surveillance". My interpretation is that they had to (compelled by law) make customers aware that their actions were recorded.

How's that for a non-surveillance society...

Function Creep (5, Informative)

silasthehobbit (626391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679751)

As with all too many of the UK Government's policies, this was introduced with the express intention of dealing with suspected terrorists.

Unfortunately, we Brits are about to get repeatedly hit over the head with the Terrorism Act (2000) - used recently in the case of a man who downloaded the 'Manchester Manual' from the US Department of Justice's servers, and was then arrested - and the Civil Contingencies Act - which allows the Government to suspend democratic process in a 'state of emergency'.

At the present time, the Government are also trying to push through 42 days detention without charge, despite there being no evidence to justify such an increase from the current (and already excessive) 28 days.

I am, like many people I know, looking to leave the UK for a new life abroad.

Re:Function Creep (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679815)

On the bright side, 28->42 days is only an extra 2 weeks... the Patriot Act allows the US government to lock people up FOREVER without charge.

Re:Function Creep (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680605)

On the bright side, 28->42 days is only an extra 2 weeks... the Patriot Act allows the US government to lock people up FOREVER without charge.
... yeah, but on the down side, you're still locked up. It would be better just to avoid living in either country...

Knew it, AND you're wrong (0, Flamebait)

hassanchop (1261914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680753)

Inevitably, when a discussion of privacy in a country other than the US arises, people come out of the woodwork to make comparisons to US policies even though the article has fuck all to do with the US.

Guess what? In many countries you can also be detained "forever" (which is an inaccurate analysis of the Patriot Act anyway, please post a link to a court decision proving otherwise if you have one (you don't)) so what's with the hard on about the US?

Why do so many foreigners have such an inferiority complex about the US?

 

Re:Knew it, AND you're wrong (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681057)

The GP poster can't, because the court decision doesn't exist, and I believe that the authority isn't in the Patriot Act, either. Some may not believe it, but there's still a constitutional requirement that a person be charged within a reasonably short time-frame, stemming from the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, which necessitates that the charges themselves be filed speedily.

Far too many people conflate the Patriot Act with Guantanamo Bay detentions. They are unrelated, and the only reason that Gitmo detainees have fewer rights is because of a technical loophole. I'm not especially enamored of it, nor of some of the other things done by the Bush Administration regarding detentions, and I have strong concerns about how habeas corpus is being handled in those cases. There was no reason that I could see to create an all-new mechanism for the trials. But the loophole is there, and until it's closed, it is legal (though perhaps immoral) to exploit it.

And before anyone complains about technicalities in general, stop and consider whether you or some cause for which you have cheered has ever benefited from a legal technicality. There's a very strong chance that they have.

Re:Knew it, AND you're wrong (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681209)

A simple search [google.com] would've answered your questions regarding the Patriot Act and indefinite detention.

As for your other comments: why do you think that comparing the judicial responses of two of the Western democratic nations engaged in the "war on terror" is inappropriate? It seems entirely reasonable - a rational comparison does not represent an "inferiority complex".

I asked for court cases, you provided NOTHING (1)

hassanchop (1261914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23685871)

A simple search [google.com] would've answered your questions regarding the Patriot Act and indefinite detention.


That's not what I asked for and betrays your ignorance of the US judicial system.

I asked for court cases FOR A REASON. You link is useless.

Care to try again, or will you admit there ARE NO COURT CASES that demonstrate you are correct with your assertion?

As for your other comments: why do you think that comparing the judicial responses of two of the Western democratic nations engaged in the "war on terror" is inappropriate?


WHere did I use the word "inappropriate" or even imply it? I was making an observation about the inevitability of such a comparison when a non-US country is portrayed in a bad light, as some kind of ridiculous tu quoque defense mechanism.

Re:Function Creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680917)

...the Patriot Act allows the US government to lock people up FOREVER without charge.

The Patriot act allows no such thing, but if you want to take a shot at citing the law--go for it. It is the combination of fear and cowardice that allows the US government to lock people up forever.

Re:Function Creep (2, Insightful)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679819)

That's why it is so important to argue the case for and against every law, before it becomes law. It's easy to write an introduction saying 'this is to stop terrorists', but much harder to frame the law so that it only applies to terrorism cases.

I'd say move! I left Blighty for Switzerland a few months ago, and have a whole new perspective now that I'm the foreigner. Generally great, but jeez, sometimes the Swiss make you feel like an [www.cbc.ca] outsider [flickr.com] !

Re:Function Creep (2, Interesting)

lysse (516445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680191)

Aye, but where? The UK is far from the worst country for piling petty tyrannies onto its citizens... although quite how the British political system ever came to be described as "democracy" is a complete mystery to me, unless democracy can really be stretched to mean "the Crown's subjects receive the occasional opportunity to give the job of pretending to run the country to a different set of chancers, spongers, curtain-twitchers, busybodies and nest-featherers, and they should be grateful that their ruler allows them that! grateful, I tell you!".

Hey, at least it's a common law system - imagine the combination of elected despotism and civil law...

Re:Function Creep (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680345)

"The UK is far from the worst country for piling petty tyrannies onto its citizens"

perhaps, but it's among the worst for surveillance:
http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-559597 [privacyinternational.org]

Re:Function Creep (1)

lysse (516445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23685783)

Thanks; interesting (if dismaying) figures. (And congratulations to Greece!) I note, though, that Scotland scores substantially better than the rest of the UK. Perhaps therein lies the root of a solution - move to Scotland, then vote for independence?

Re:Function Creep (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681197)

Indeed. Here's to the common-law system; at least it has /somewhat/ better protection for the little guy versus Roman-style civil "it only counts if it's written down by the legislature and you're guilty unless you prove otherwise" law. And you can always have a judge say that the legislature are wankers.

Re:Function Creep (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680437)

Go for it m8. I left this year and have no regrets except for missing Clark's pies :-(

Re:Function Creep (4, Interesting)

akadruid (606405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680761)

It's only a month since Poole council hit the headlines for using RIPA to spy on families to check school applications[1] - council employees were literally following people around and sitting outside their houses. Not only is this explicitly legal, but they were prepared to go on record saying they considered it to be a normal desirable practice. There will be a lot more of this.

The Tories want to get rid of the 'paperwork' of RIPA[2] too, which basically means eliminating those awkward checks and balances so they can get on with real spying in peace (that's how I read it anyway).

On the bright side, the police hate RIPA[2] as it is, so at least its due for some more headlines first

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7341179.stm [bbc.co.uk] & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584713/Poole-council-spies-on-family-over-school-claim.html [telegraph.co.uk]

2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/02/03/do0301.xml [telegraph.co.uk]

3. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/08/flanagan_ripa/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Function Creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680883)

Unfortunately, we Brits are about to get repeatedly hit over the head with the Terrorism Act (2000) - used recently in the case of a man who downloaded the 'Manchester Manual' from the US Department of Justice's servers, and was then arrested

Once more, he was arrested for being an illegal immigrant, not for downloading any manual.

But... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23679779)

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear (/sarcasm)

Also my local council used the law to spy on a family trying to give their kids a decent education http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/apr/11/localgovernment.ukcrime [guardian.co.uk]

Or if you want you can download the forms to apply to spy on someone form here http://security.homeoffice.gov.uk/ripa/about-ripa/forms/ [homeoffice.gov.uk]

Re:But... (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680329)


How do I go about getting this information out of the councils to find out if they've been spying on me and if so what information they have gathered? Can I apply for this under Freedom of Information? And can anyone else?

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

internewt (640704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681641)

Even though your post hase been modded up to +5 (I have modifiers, so that might not be right) there are no replies.... and this isn't a proper one either.

I think the lack of replies shows how a system that supposedly exists to free government infomation isn't very approachable at all.... and the cynic in me says the authorities would have wanted it that way.

I added this site to my bookmarks the otherday... looks interesting
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ [whatdotheyknow.com]
But the UK gov do seem to try and make URLs predictable:
http://www.foi.gov.uk/ [foi.gov.uk]

But no, I can't answer your question. That Daily Heil article mentioned numbers of councils who do use the act, and those who don't.... Wish they'd publish them too.

Re:But... (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23684639)

You can but try, write to your local council and they are obliged to at least respond in 17 days or so. Whether you can find out specifics might be something for the Information Commissioner.

Nothing to hide (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680745)

If people really had nothing to hide, then clothing stores would go out of business.

Perhaps that's why some of the best men's clothiers are from England.

Re:Nothing to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23687843)

I would walk around naked, except the weather really isn't suitable for it most of the year and it is also illegal.

What's the alternative? (1, Interesting)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679825)

Forbid councils, and other government bodies in general, from accessing phone records and email? Forbid law agencies from taking finger prints? Make it illegal for the police to arrest you on the off chance they make a mistake? More people were getting convicted of committing crimes they had nothing to do with 20 years ago when we didn't have all this technology. Now we have it and can improve on false convictions and you don't want to use it?

Re:What's the alternative? (3, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679851)

Forbid councils, and other government bodies in general, from accessing phone records and email?
Yes. I can't think of a single reason why a local council needs access to communication records. They're not law enforcement, they're supposed to fix pot-holes, cut the grass and fine you for parking your car. Why the fuck do they need to be reading our e-mails?

Local councillors are people who are so worthless and incompetent, they can't even be an MP. Why should we trust them with any information at all?

Re:What's the alternative? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680197)

They can send you to prison for not paying your council tax, and do so regularly. A guy I used to work with loved going to court with his list of "criminals" that were so poor they couldn't afford the monthly tax, they'd end up doing time. Benefits don't fill in the gaps, having some money coming in and a roof over your head that isn't provided by the council, pushes you through the gaps.

Councils handle housing benefits which is integrated with the community tax (or whatever it's called these days). That's why they'd love to snoop.

As you say, councillors are awful. You should see what they get (I printed their payslips), and the back-handers more than managers' salaries, and the foreign trips etc. It's a bloody disgrace. I left local govt, I couldn't put up with the snails and lifers. I left the UK eventually too!

All I see these days are UK councils cutting services and fining people for not being about to close their wheelie-bins or leaving them at the wrong angle on collection day. I gather lots of areas are down to one collection every two weeks. I have two a week, yet only put the bin out once every two.

Re:What's the alternative? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680323)

They can send you to prison for not paying your council tax, and do so regularly.

No, they can't. A court may send you to prison. A council can merely bring a case against you, just as you yourself may bring a case against someone who has wronged you. But you don't get to spy on HM Revenue and Customs' e-mails about your tax return under the RIP Act, even though it is known that HMRC screw up thousands of tax calculations every year to the detriment of the citizens concerned and waste billions of pounds of taxpayers' money every year by failing to run their own systems properly.

As the GP said, there is no legitimate reason to grant councils (and numerous other pseudo-government agencies) access to such personal information. On the occasions where there are legitimate grounds for a serious investigation — and they are rare at council level, very rare — it should be possible for the council to go via the court system and/or police to find the information they need with judicial oversight, just like they used to.

There is an increasing mound of evidence to show that laws providing for gross invasion of privacy are being abused on a massive scale for the most trivial of things by pencil pushers who fancy themselves important. There is almost no evidence that councils are using these sweeping powers to get good results in genuine cases where they couldn't have achieved similar results without the powers. It's just a screwed up law, and the sooner it's repealed the better.

Re:What's the alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23682553)

Yes, the court does the deed, but it's nothing more than rubber stamping. The "Recovery" dept go to court each week with their beloved lists. They enjoy it, at least those I worked with did. It gives them a power trip.

Judge: Are you going to pay this council tax bill right now?

defendant: No, I don't have the money, as I have been explaining to the council for several months.

Judge: *Thwak* 2-4 weeks at H.M. Convenience.

If the law was interesting in doing something useful, they would investigate the dodgy stuff going on in councils. I've seen huge interest free loans (20+k) given to staff, company cars given to employees even though they cannot drive, so the other half uses it, an additional 2k in salary payments for "expenses" per month, housing staff wiggling their friends through the system to get council houses, staff jumping themselves or colleagues to top of the part-rent/part-buy schemes and then cashing in as the market jumps.

Most management level "workers" are freemasons, it seemed to be more common could council workers than plod. Not that I ever saw anything odd about them, they were extremely open about it. There's a distinct mold to council workers. Once you've been there a few years, you'll have two months paid leave per year, plus flexi-time. Salaries always get above inflation rises each year, so long term employees are massively over paid compared to what their equivalents in the private sector get. You basically have to sit tight, ignore the corruption and suspect back scratching, and you'll be set up for life.

The funny thing about them having a needless disgraceful access to private information, one department cannot have access to related information in another.

Re:What's the alternative? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680927)

it's a great wheeze, isn't it? They save money by reducing services, and then MAKE money by fining people for not picking up the slack now that the services are gone.

Your rubbish needs to be collected - you will now pay us for the privilege of doing most of the work yourself, and go to prison if you don't pay, and pay us more money if you don't do the work.

Re:What's the alternative? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679857)

Now we have it and can improve on false convictions and you don't want to use it?
Yep, you appear to have noticed modern man's false convictions :P Lots of whining about stuff but try and do something about it and people are all "do not want!".. meh

Re:What's the alternative? (1)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679873)

Yay! I get to yell "false dichotomy" and then provide no acceptable middle ground in response, like everyone else who criticizes someone's argument on Slashdot!

Seriously, the problem is that it is always a slippery slope. Having an invasion of privacy is unacceptable; preventing the courts from collecting evidence is unacceptable. But thanks to government and media FUD, the balance will always be shifting toward the former, through loopholes and ambiguously-worded "security" laws. So there really is a tendency toward a dichotomy.

Now everyone can criticize arguments with Boolean logic instead of informal fallacies. Oh, dear...

Re:What's the alternative? (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681777)

Forbid councils, and other government bodies in general, from accessing phone records and email?

Sounds good to me. Then we could make specific exemption for the police if they obtain a court order. That sounds like a reasonable way to run a society.

Now we have it and can improve on false convictions and you don't want to use it?

I don't know about the GP, but personally, I don't want it used indiscriminately. I don't want it used casually. I don't want access to this data to be widely available. Again, allowing the police access with judicial oversight seems perfectly workable and adequate. I think we can probably manage that without unleashing anarchy upon the world.

Re:What's the alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23682225)

With the exception of law enforcement - and then only with judicial oversight, that is EXACTLY the correct alternative.

Local Councils get to MAKE the laws and regulations. Abusing them to snoop on and harass private citizens is a privilege reserved exclusively for law enforcement.

This represents a critical division of corruption! Can you imagine if the Republicans in congress here in the states could exercise search warrants on private citizens? ( Of course, professional courtesy would prevent them from doing so on each other ).

What a surprise (4, Funny)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679839)

UK Local Council in "Wasting Tax-Payers' Money and Being Crooked" Shocker. Film at 11.

Next week: local resident arrested for 42 days without charge for putting the bins out too early.

Re:What a surprise (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680073)

I'm sorry for commenting inside a restricted zone, I hereby arrest you for breaching the Serious Organised Crime and Policing act. [wikipedia.org]
Sure you can claim you wern't even in london, but now I have logs that show your packets clearly entered the zone.

Please report to your favourite detention centre for a punishment of 42 days or whenever somebody notices your missing (whichever is greater) or your ID card will be revoked.

Re:What a surprise (1)

shabble (90296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23703447)

Next week: local resident arrested for 42 days without charge for putting the bins out too early.


Life imitating art. Well sort of : http://news.google.co.uk/news?q=bin+%22two+fingers%22&btnG=Search+News [google.co.uk]

Example: http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/headlines/display.var.2317800.0.anger_over_two_finger_bin_rule.php [thisiswiltshire.co.uk]

A COUPLE were left annoyed after being told their wheelie bin containing grass cuttings was not emptied because binmen could not lift it with two fingers.

Sorry guys, it's my fault. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23679919)

I went for a job in local government just last week and one of the interview questions was "What legislation, acts and policies are relevant to the job?"

I mentioned all the usual - data protection act, freedom of information act, computer misuse act, health and safety at work act as well as standards policies like BS7799 etc. and then I also mentioned RIPA.

The guy interviewing gave the response "Oh I'd not heard of that one before".

Perhaps I should've kept my mouth shut.

big brother (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680131)

This is a country where the most popular entertainment is watching a TV program where people in a house are recorded 24 hours a day.

I doubt people here care that much.

Re:big brother (2, Informative)

Escogido (884359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680333)

You know what? They all will die one day, well almost. And they are not replaced much by the younger generation.

http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html [herecomeseverybody.org]

Re:big brother (1)

Drasil (580067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680615)

That's an interesting link, I've yet to read it all but I feel I should point out that we do not have more free time than ever before, members most hunter-gather societies have significantly more free time than those of us in the (post) industrialised world.

We are well past the point where we should all be working 2 day weeks as mechanisation takes up the strain. Marx (correctly IMO) pointed out that capitalism tends to lead to overproduction which must be justified in some way. In Marx's time this was by expansion into new geographical areas. At the beginning of the 20th century Coca-Cola invented modern marketing in order to sell a self-image rather than an actual product. It seems to me that much of the complexity of modern life exists only to keep the mass busy.

In reference to the story, I'm not surprised. The UK has been becoming more like a dystopia for pretty much my whole life. I took a taxi home an hour or so ago. The driver told me I couldn't drink my bottle of orange juice in his car, not because he had a problem with it but if the 'taxi police' saw me then I would be fined. The government no longer serves the people, instead it is the master of the people.

Re:big brother (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680993)

I have to say, anyone who argues that playing WoW (and don't get me wrong, I love WoW) is somehow more useful than watching TV is pretty delusional.

Re:big brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23682735)

Nice link, thanks. It's good to read in print something that's been a half formed idea in my own head for a while.

Re:big brother (3, Insightful)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680385)

The conspiracy theorist in me sometimes believes that the sole purpose of that show was to inundate people with the term 'Big Brother' just so that when the UK really did become a big brother state there would be no shock value in calling it so.

Radical leftist on podium: Big Brother is watching you, man!
Passive sheople: Hey, I like that show. I'll go watch it now.

Re:big brother (2, Interesting)

Hanyin (1301045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681235)

The conspiracy theorist in me sometimes believes that the sole purpose of that show was to inundate people with the term 'Big Brother' just so that when the UK really did become a big brother state there would be no shock value in calling it so.
I always thought that they did the same with the phrase 'antisocial behavior'. I'm not from the UK but I get the impression that they managed to make it not only refer to your neighborhood hoodlum who likes to break windows and spray-paint walls, but protesters too. That way when you hear about antisocial behavior on the news you automatically think it was justified that someone was arrested without actually knowing what they were doing.

I may be wrong so feel free to correct me if I'm off base with my opinion.

Re:big brother (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693733)

5 million viewers is not "the most popular" by any stretch of the imagination.

Reading their email at home? Seriously? (1)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680433)

Phone records would be available from the provider, but I'm curious to know how they plan to spy on email. ISPs might keep header logs, but for the most part that's just going to stay on some arbitrary webmail server or be downloaded directly to the target's computer.

You can be pretty sure that they'll notice when they come to investigate that.
"Er, who are you and what are you doing with my computer?"
"Just checking your email; nothing to see here. No wait, you emailed your buddy Bob for some reason about that animal carcass you have next to your compost. You're in trouble now."

Re:Reading their email at home? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680909)

ISPs might keep header logs, but for the most part that's just going to stay on some arbitrary webmail server or be downloaded directly to the target's computer.

And how do they differentiate between spam with forged sender/return addresses and genuine E-mail, if they don't have the mail message contents?

Re:Reading their email at home? Seriously? (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23682301)

British ISPs are required to keep email header logs for later inspection under RIPA, soon to be joined by website requests. Contents of emails are supposedly not recorded, just the header sender/destination trail etc. It's supposed to be somewhat analogous to phone logs, which are also available on demand by lots of different organisations under RIPA.

The primary purpose the councils are putting it to are establishing 'known contacts' of someone they already have under investigation, or simple identifying of someone when they only have an email address or a phone number. To go and confiscate a home computer would require a proper warrant, and calling in the police.

That said - councils can sign off these investigations on their own with no oversight from the courts at all, until they gather enough evidence to start a prosecution of some sort, or hand over to the police. That low level non-elected beaurocrats can pull up all sorts of information on people, or even establish physical surveillance with no input from the police or courts, or even oversight within their own organisation is truly scary.

Which (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681447)

Which councils? I want to see the full response.

Only in the case of Emergency (1)

DeanFox (729620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23682853)


TFA says these laws were only intended to be used in case of national security. Inferring the law had been used incorrectly. Therein lies the rub. Define national security. The same could be said for defining terrorist or sexual deviant. It seems to me no one crossed a line using these laws improperly. That's the problem. Once the {insert whomever here} lost his/her rights, so did I.

-[d]-
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