Councils are to have their powers to snoop on the public curbed under government plans aimed at addressing alarm at the expansion of the surveillance state.
Local authorities have used legislation intended to tackle terrorism and serious crime to deal with minor offences such as dog fouling.
Under the plans, published today, relatively junior council officials will lose their power to authorise surveillance operations on behalf of local authorities. Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, will say that only council chief executives and officials at director level will have the right to order investigations involving techniques such as eavesdropping, tracking vehicles and secret filming.
This of course comes only days after the announcement that the same junior council officials will now have the power under POCA to confiscate all of your assets if they should so wish.
Not exactly a step forward in liberty.
If they\’re not to be trusted not to snoop on you then how in buggery can they be trusted with all of your property?