Trevor Mendham

UK Civil Liberties - New Labour's Record

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Extension 2003

In 2000, New Labour passed the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act to destroy electronic privacy.

In 2002 Home Secretary David Blunkett attempted to change the rules. A last minute backlash caught Blunkett out and he was forced to drop his planned extension to the Act.

The plans have now re-emerged. Blunkett has this month (September 2003) announced plans to reintroduce these powers.

Almost any governement agency - including jobcentres, local councils and the chief inspector of schools - will be allowed access to records of your telephone and Internet activities.

No wonder they call him "Big" Blunkett.

Liberty director Shami Chakrabati said: "This underlines the uncomfortable fact that the British public are the most spied upon people in the Western world."

We are told by the government not to worry because there will also be "safeguards". How often have we heard that?

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