from the oh-really-now? dept
But police chiefs and the Home Office warned that would mean officers would no longer be able to use the data to help trace vulnerable people such as those at suicide risk or missing childrenSo they need to spy on you to save you. Talk about a paternalistic authoritarian bullshit. And, actually, the article seems to raise a lot more questions about abuse of DRIP than anything else:
The power was used in around 16,000 such cases last year to “prevent death or injury in an emergency situation”, the Home Office said.First of all, 500,000 requests?!? What the hell are they searching? Second: 16,000 cases where this power was used to "prevent death or injury in an emergency situation" -- that's not even remotely believable. That's saying that law enforcement in the UK needed to snoop on citizens' private data more than 40 times every day to "prevent death or serious injury." Considering that the law only went into effect a year ago, did the number of deaths and serious injuries drop by a tremendous amount in the last 12 months, because surely there should be some evidence of that, right? Admittedly, the latest stats only go up to 2013, but if there had been a giant decrease in suicides, wouldn't someone be talking about that number, rather than the requests for information?
Under the ruling, judges or an independent body will have to sign off every one of the 500,000-plus requests to access communications data each year.
Instead, everyone's going on and on about how they're supposedly preventing suicides by spying on your:
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on communications data, said: “A significant proportion of our acquisition of data relates to situations where life is at immediate risk and a significant proportion of those requests relate to non-crime enquiries, for example: tracing vulnerable and suicidal missing persons.”Of course, even if this is true (which is unlikely), are they really arguing that they need a special data retention law to make this happen? Or that they can't bother to ask a judge first? In the US, we don't have a similar data retention law, and yet companies frequently work with law enforcement to help them locate missing persons. Why do you need a broad law with little oversight unless you're planning to abuse that power in a way that companies might push back on if they weren't required by law to comply?