Metropolitan Police Says They're 'Not Prepared' To Reveal How Often They Abuse Anti-Terror Law To Spy On Journalists

from the must-take-a-lot-of-time-to-count-'em-all-up dept

So we recently wrote about how the Metropolitan Police in the UK abused an anti-terror law, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), to dig into a journalist’s phone records without any judicial oversight as the police sought to minimize a scandal relating to an incident (Plebgate) involving the police. That led many to wonder just how often the police abuse that law to get records from journalists with no oversight. The answer appears to be “screw you, we’re not saying.” Or the equivalent of that with a friendly British accent:

Asked how many times they have used Ripa to seize telephone or email records belonging to journalists, Scotland Yard said: ?We are not prepared to discuss.?

The line between “not prepared” and “oh fuck, we don’t have to reveal that, do we?” appears to be fairly blurry.

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Comments on “Metropolitan Police Says They're 'Not Prepared' To Reveal How Often They Abuse Anti-Terror Law To Spy On Journalists”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Let loose the hounds...

Or in this case lawyers, because I don’t imagine anything short of a court order will be able to pry that bit of information loose.

If they aren’t willing to answer the question, odds are it’s because the number is rather high, or at least significantly higher than they think they could successfully justify before a real court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Because Terrorism.

Ok, Lets turn it around and apply all the hot button excuses for why they have to turn it over. I am convinced the terrorists are holding a gun to their spouses head and forcing them to violate our rights. Is that a lousy excuse? Sure. Is it any worse then their excuse for violating the laws? No it is not!!

Anonymous Coward says:

the UK police are taking leaves out of USA police books! had the USA perhaps been a bit more democratic instead of becoming a ‘Police State’, maybe allies wouldn’t be so keen to imitate, to ignore authority, thinking they are the law and no one can question what they do!
the world is becoming worse by the day and it’s not just because of disgraceful acts performed by terrorists, it’s the similarity between what terrorists do and our very own law enforcement services. no democratic, self respecting country should be afraid of what might happen if you’re stopped by a police officer. you could end up on a cold slab down the morgue, like so many more seem to these days!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Oh come on, you have nothing to fear, in either the USA or the UK, when stopped by the police if you have done nothing wrong (and have not accidentally transgressed any of the myriad of laws that criminalize perfectly reasonable behaviour, and broken no “secret” laws, and have the right color skin, and the right accent, and dress properly, and are in the right part of town, and have the right connections, and are a member of the social elite – all of which are subject to change without notice)
How can you possible call this a ‘Police State’?

Joseph Ratliff (profile) says:

When will they ever learn?

In this information era, someone WILL find out the answer, and someone will report it to the public that cares to know the answer, period.

When will these institutions get that? #holdingbreath

(I know, they won’t, probably ever)

When you do bad stuff, the bad stuff gets discussed in the media. The simple solution?

Do good/the right stuff.

(and yes, it is that easy)

Call me Al says:

Re: When will they ever learn?

Yes someone will report it to the public that cares to know. What will happen then? Nothing at all.

The public that cares to know is a miniscule part of the population. So small as to be easily ignored by the government and political parties in general.

All they need to do is pay lip services to privacy and then scream “terrorism” or “for the children” and then the majority of the population are satisfied.

Anonymous Coward says:

What are they worried for. They get away with openly breaking the law over the biggest things, why would they not be bragging about how they broke the laws in this instance.

I somehow doubt their internal affairs division is going to sit up and take notice of the departments criminality from this problem.

Do a crime that would get a regular citizen sent away for life, get a promotion. Beat someone to death, get paid leave while they sort you did nothing wrong. Claim they feared for their lives and that trumps the law they have no clue about and yet they somehow represent.

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