Bwahahahahaha

You\’ve got to laugh, eh?

A council has used powers intended for anti-terrorism surveillance to spy on a family who were wrongly accused of lying on a school application form.

Those exceptional powers, those that would only be used in the most important and urgent of cases, are employed to check up on a school application.

What next? 42 days for not paying your car tax? Incommunicado, that is, for we wouldn\’t want anyone to know so that someone can nip down to the Post Office and apply for it for you now, would we?

Can we hang them all yet?

25 thoughts on “Bwahahahahaha”

  1. “What next? 42 days for not paying your car tax? Incommunicado, that is, for we wouldn’t want anyone to know so that someone can nip down to the Post Office and apply for it for you now, would we?”

    oh, great! Give them ideas, why don’t you…? 🙂

    Although, I might move to Poole. They obviously have so few problems with litter, road surfacing, collecting council tax, etc that their education staff can afford the time to indulge their fantasies of being Jack Bauer over a piddling school application…

  2. Sadly, you have repeated an inaccurate and misleading part of the story. The legislation was nothing to do with counter terrorism, but was in fact a measure designed to limit the powers of the state and others to carry out intrusive surveillance. By reporting it in this way it gives license to those such as JuliaM to indulge in their fantasies.

    I make no comment on the case of Poole Council because the only thing I have to go on are the media reports, and given they have got this part of the story cock-eyed, who can say anything about the accuracy of the remainder.

  3. “The legislation was nothing to do with counter terrorism, but was in fact a measure designed to limit the powers of the state and others to carry out intrusive surveillance. “

    A result of which ‘measure’ appears to have now allowed a few council-employed mouthbreathers to trail a family applying for a school place around for a few weeks, mumbling into their lapels to each other that ‘Mad dog is on the move…I have eyeball’.

    Well, I shouldn’t be surprised at that, given how every other ‘measure’ this government has put in place has made things immeasurably more shit….

    “I make no comment on the case of Poole Council because the only thing I have to go on are the media reports, and given they have got this part of the story cock-eyed, who can say anything about the accuracy of the remainder.”

    Ah, that media eh, always wrong. So, quick ‘yes/no’ question – should council-employed officials checking out the vital allocation of school places be allowed to pop down to Q Branch, pick up their wristwatch-cum-laser-cutter-cum-digital-camera and earphone mike and shadow council-tax paying families round the leafy streets of Poole….?

    That shouldn’t be too hard to answer now…

  4. a) this is a grossly stupid and insane use of council time and money

    b) however, Bob has a point regarding RIPA – it was an act limiting the power of the state to spy on people to certain situations (i.e. passing it reduced the state’s spying powers and did not increase them). It should have limited that power more, sure…

  5. JuliaM says: A result of which ‘measure’ appears to have now allowed a few council-employed mouthbreathers to trail a family applying for a school place around for a few weeks…

    Perhaps you are not concentrating. The surveillance was not ‘a result’ of RIPA. Prior to RIPA anyone could carry out unlimited snooping, which may well have suited those anti-regulation libetarians. RIPA, as john b says, was an attempt to regulate and limit such snooping.

  6. “…however, Bob has a point regarding RIPA – it was an act limiting the power of the state to spy on people… “

    He doesn’t have a point at all. And I’m well aware of RIPA and its intention, even before this article.

    He’s merely miffed that the media have worded their reports and headlines in a way he doesn’t like (but which isn’t actually factually incorrect) and uses that to deflect/refuse to issue any criticism of the council’s actions in this matter.

    How very NuLabour….

  7. “Perhaps you are not concentrating. The surveillance was not ‘a result’ of RIPA. Prior to RIPA anyone could carry out unlimited snooping, which may well have suited those anti-regulation libetarians. RIPA, as john b says, was an attempt to regulate and limit such snooping.”

    I didn’t say the surveillance was a direct ‘result’ – merely that the act (RIPA) hasn’t done the job it was intended to very well, if this action carried on after it, has it…?

    And it appears YOU were ‘not concentrating’.

    A question was asked, which you ducked – going to answer it? Or need more time to think….?

  8. Of course, we could just leave it up to the good citizens of Poole.

    If they want council-worker Clive to be given a ‘license to surveill’ to foil the School Place Cartel, they can enthusiastically vote in any councillors who say they will urge the council to carry on with the practice.

    If not, they know what to do….

    But I bet a LOT of councils are receiving FoIA requests this morning to find out what they have been up to… 🙂

  9. Well, perhaps you should say what you mean. You said it was a result of this ‘measure’, which it patently was not. If the ‘measure’ had not been in place at all it would, therefore, not have stopped Poole Council doing whatever it did.

    My view on the Poole case as you have attempted to ridicule it was that the surveillance was unnecessary, but that wasn’t the point I was making. Tim repeated the misleading anti-terrorism bit and also said the legislation was only to be used in the most serious cases, which again, is incorrect.

    That allowed both Tim and yourself to indulge in your fantasies.

    Your point about FoIA cases is quite pertinent and people should be encouraged to put them in if they are concerned. It was another good piece of legislation in introduced in 2000 to catch terrorists oops, sorry, give some protection to the individual.

  10. “That allowed both Tim and yourself to indulge in your fantasies.”

    Lol! I don’t anyone is indulging ‘fantasies’ here, except the council Johnnie-no-stars getting hot and sweaty at the thought of following Mrs & Mrs 2.4 Family around, do you…?

    “Your point about FoIA cases is quite pertinent and people should be encouraged to put them in if they are concerned.”

    And without stories like this coming to light in the media you so sneeringly dismiss, how would they know what to put in, or whether there was something to be concerned about…?

    Oh, look, the BBC’s picked it up now:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7341179.stm

    “A council has admitted spying on a family using laws to track criminals and terrorists to find out if they were really living in a school catchment. “

    🙂 🙂

  11. “Oh, look, the BBC’s picked it up now”…

    So they have…. yesterday! Perhaps that is why everyone else got it wrong too.

    I don’t anyone is indulging ‘fantasies’ here

    So… you think 42 days for not paying your road tax is reality!

    Lord preserve us. As Bartlet said to Toby in The West Wing… “Toby, tell me these people don’t have the vote.”

  12. “you think 42 days for not paying your road tax is reality”

    No, that’s called ‘sarcasm’. You must recognise it by now, surely…?

    “Lord preserve us. As Bartlet said to Toby in The West Wing… “Toby, tell me these people don’t have the vote.””

    Ah, the archetypal cry of the thwarted left-winger: ‘We need to dissolve the people and elect a new one!’

  13. Bob,

    So RIPA was purely an attempt to limit snoping was it?

    In which case, how come RIPA gives the police the power to lock up someone who refuses to divulge their encryption keys, which may or may not exist, and lock them up for more time if they divulge the fact that the police want their keys.

    Ludicrous, and this rather proves the fact that you are wrong. (A fact which is in absolutely no doubt as you support Zanu Liebour)

    Limiting powers /may/ have been the pure intention of the act, but knowing how our lords and masters think and work I doubt this absolutely – but in effect the RIPA act DOES give the police more powers than they had before so your claims are either disingenous or downright lies. Or you could simply be incompetent. I wouldn’t like to say which.

    So which is it, are you merely incompetent or are you criminally insane?

    Z.

  14. Anyone else a little creeped out at the reference to ‘The West Wing’..? Don’t get me wrong, I loved it – brilliant direction and acting, a true classic TV of the future. The politics of the characters mattered not.

    But…..surely NuLabour aparatchiks don’t fantasise that they come anywhere close to the honesty, integrity and likeability of these purely fictional characters, do they..?

    Hmmm, now I’m wondering who wee Bobby Piper sees himself as… 🙂

  15. I have to say the West Wing quote really did creep me out.
    Gives a clue to what our ‘masters’ are thinking under the surface.

    I don’t think Bob P really knows what a low opinion the general population has of him and his peers!

  16. “Zanu Liebour” – hmm, the mark of a serious commentator, not. It’s not quite Holocaust denial to imply a moral equivalence between our currrent moderately inept shower and the genocidaires at ZANU-PF, but it’s on the same road…

    And failing to provide encryption keys would have been an offence under the previous law, since obstructing the police is illegal in general; RIPA just made it explicit so people couldn’t try on “ooh, but this doesn’t count as obstructing because it wasn’t mentioned in the old law” defences that would ultimately have failed anyway.

    In other words, it doesn’t give the police any more powers, and anyone who says it does is lying.

  17. Any attempt to codify powers of surveillance runs the risk of some jobsworth thinking “Oh, I didn’t know we could do that….”. Price to pay, and all that.

  18. Bob… I know what people in my part of the world think of me… I ask them for my vote.

    Do you know what sort of nerd people think you are?

    Zorro, if you are snoping, you deserve everything you get.

    Is JuliaM really an amazon… she seems to have a size issue. Well, you know what they say about size..

  19. “Zorro, if you are snoping, you deserve everything you get.”

    Yeah. Cut out that snoping Zorro, it’s no good for you (http://www.snopes.com)… 🙂

    “Is JuliaM really an amazon… she seems to have a size issue. Well, you know what they say about size..”

    ? ?

    Well, I haven’t cut off a breast to make me better at archery, but other than that, anyone have any idea what this bloke is on about..?

    Lay off the sauce this early in the evening, Bobby, tbh…

  20. Actually, I’ve always felt a good dollop of ketchup on toast an extremely good way of lining the stomach early evening before going on the pop Julie.

    I’ll try not to give too much thought to your bosom though, it doesn’t sound as if it would be a very pleasant prospect.

  21. “I’ll try not to give too much thought to your bosom though..”

    Quite right. Too much of that sort of thing isn’t good for your eyesight. Or is that a myth? Must check Snopes…

  22. That started off a little like a debate and then it ended a little like a fight. Either way, I enjoyed following it. One question though, what was Bob on about towards the end? It all went a little off-the-wall for me. Still, I’ve had a few beers so perhaps it’s me that should lay off the sauce.

    I’ll just make the point that even if we take RIPA as being designed to limit the state’s ability to invade the privacy of the citizenry, it hasn’t done a very good job if this sort of thing goes on. Plenty of room for improvement remains.

  23. The RIPA provides for, and regulates the use of, a range of investigative powers, by a variety of
    public authorities. It updates the law on the interception of communications to take account of
    technological change such as the growth of the Internet. It also puts other intrusive
    investigative techniques on a statutory footing for the very first time. It provides new powers to
    help combat the threat posed by rising criminal use of strong encryption and it ensures that there
    is independent judicial oversight of the powers in the Act.

    As RIPA is to do with, mainly, electronic communication – why did these ‘council workers’ state they were investigation under this legislation.

    As I said on my blog: “I am not one to advocate spurious law suits – I think they have done nothing for the general population – but I think in cases like this there should be a line as long as The Mall of lawyers wanting to sue the government, this and other councils who do this to the people of Britain!”

  24. “That started off a little like a debate and then it ended a little like a fight.”

    john b seemed to give up a little too easily, didn’t he? Or he’s off composing a ‘Liar liar pants on fire!’ missive to the ‘Washington Post’ right about now…

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