I’ll Have A Pint of Whatever The Home Secretary Is Drinking

Can somebody PLEASE tell an old codger WTF is going on?

In the last couple of months we’ve had (and this is just what my old grey cells can remember)

Theresa May orders police: Stop abusing our terror laws to hack phones and spy on journalists 

“Police are to be stripped of the power to secretly spy on journalists’ phones, striking a major blow for press freedom.”……..”The furore over police hacking journalists’ phones led to widespread calls for urgent reforms to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which allows officers to request call data from phone companies without needing a judge’s approval.”

Well we all know that RIPA is no more used exclusively to investigate journalists than irt is to tackle terrorism. It is a perfectly useful tool in the Police’s Armoury and the only real issue is that that all requests should be AUTHORISED and PROPORTIONATE, NECESSARY and compatible with Human Rights. It would also help if they were Crime-Related.  But no, Teflon Theresa bows to pressure and jumps on the bandwagon, desperate to be more popular and maybe even get some votes next May.  Nothing too cynical there then.

We have also had;
Theresa May introduces new restrictions on stop and search powers

“Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has unveiled a series of measures which will scale back the way police can stop and search suspects.

Tougher thresholds will mean officers in England and Wales are able to use the most controversial form of stop and search powers much less frequently.”

Once again Stop and Search is a perfectly useful tool but it needs to be used properly and in line with the laws. Officers are always accountable for their Stop and Searches, they have had to provide a copy of the Stop/Search record on request for years now, nothing new there. Get the supervising officers to SUPERVISE and I don’t see the problem, every officer accounts for his/her Stop/Searches (and if they can’t they shouldn’t have done it) and what’s the problem?  Why take away or reduce a valid tool in the battle against Crime?

And now we have had;

Theresa May moves to give police powers to identify internet users

“Police are to get powers to force internet firms to hand over details linked to IP addresses in order to help them help identify criminal suspects online.

The Anti-Terrorism And Security Bill will oblige internet service providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to individual users.

The home secretary, Theresa May, said the measure would boost national security – but again complained that Liberal Democrats were blocking further steps.”

So she doesn’t like RIPA because it upsets her friends in the media but this is OK?  Seems far more sensitive and intrusive to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I don’t see anything wrong with RIPA either.

Smacks of a Home Secretary who is lost. Up the proverbial and doesn’t know which way to turn. Vote-seeking. Or maybe simply a Home Secretary who doesn’t know what her view is until she’s told, or simply weak in reality and is blown by the wind. Whoever blows strongest gets her support maybe.

Whichever it is, I simply don’t get it.

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4 thoughts on “I’ll Have A Pint of Whatever The Home Secretary Is Drinking

  1. I think your quite right about supervision and RIPA, if used properly it is a valuable tool.

    I have seen it misused in the past with regards to targeting whistleblowers in the police service.

    Theresa May seems to be doing a lot these days without proper consultation with the police service and officers at the sharp end.

    In relation to one of my specialisms ‘Domestic Abuse’, previously known as Domestic Violence she appears to have been sucked in on the Domestic Violence bandwagon.

    She is introducing a new DV law to deal with ‘coersive control’ which I cannot see being effective, ultimately police officers will not have the time, motivation or will to deal with it.

    The odd token case may be dealt with by a specific unit however, working in the private sector I am often dealing with cases where officers have had ample powers and not used them in such cases.

    Twitter is buzzing with private companies joining the domestic abuse industry who have forged relationships with ACPO and police forces to provide training and introducing risk assessment forms which we had anyway when I ran a DV and community safety unit.

    The new law I feel is unnecessary as there are a myriad of existing laws to deal with such behaviour.

    I don’t know where Theresa May thinks she is going to be able to get extra officers to deal with this new legislation when for a variety of reasons police officers are unable to deal with Domestic abuse using existing powers.

    Whilst campaigners will always quote the number of DV related homicides, in truth this has not changed over several years so any senior officer with moral fibre could argue that the police service is doing something right as the figures have not increased.

    There are some deaths that could have been prevented but this all goes back to a lack of supervision and supervisors that are perhaps not doing their job or not being permitted to use their common sense.

  2. Yes, very interesting.

    Some quotes here too, via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30166477 relating to IP-matching supervision, etc:

    Labour: “access [to] IP addresses should be accompanied by appropriate oversight providing sufficient checks and balances”.

    LibDem MP Julian Huppert: “The real question is why the home secretary has dragged her feet on this technical measure that would have actually saved lives… while still trying to push ahead with much larger and much more intrusive measures that have much less benefit in keeping us safe.”

    David Davis: “Theresa May..has said in effect that she sees it as a route back into the whole snooper’s charter”

    Liberty: “every government proposal of the last so many years has been about blanket surveillance of the entire population”

    ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association): “It looks like it could catch people who post annoying things on Twitter or not very nice things on social media – but not those who know how to hide their online activities..not a sensible thing to have decided to do without consulting us first.”

    Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: “To get that balance between security and privacy is Parliament’s job.”
    —————
    Mmmmm….

    BHH may’ve forgotten to add: “So, if rushed or too-easily compliant supervisors or judges sign off any snooping requested, who are we to worry about blankets? They’re for Peanuts’ Linus. Speaking of Snoopy, until the more intrusive charter we requested is passed, this happens to be very handy for snooping on & terrorising journalists’ sources & whistleblowers (like the truth, we still see them as the real enemies within..)”

    Linus: “If you’ll calm down for a minute, Charlie Brown, I may be able to conduct a little private investigation.”
    Charlie Brown: “Just what I need, a blanket-carrying Sherlock Holmes!”
    (film: “Snoopy Come Home”)
    —————

    Are the terrorists all real – or partly also a smokescreen for those awkwardly “snooping” into the truth of the political or security establishment?

    The focus of this ‘establishment’ seems to demonstrate a yearning for blanket internal snooping, yet presented as “for our security” for public acceptability, consumption – and support.

    The ‘legal’ freedom to snoop into anything & anyone appears the preferred destination, however long its approval finally takes. Yet its supervision, in effect, is to be taken on trust and feels endlessly opaque to outsiders.

    Catching real terrorists will be a bonus but blanket snooping – with lax supervision likely in these leaderless, furtively unaccountable & cash strapped days – is surely overkill, as most will take pains to avoid this type of detection.

    Blanket snooping though is bound to foster the climate of fear required to terrorise awkward internal social media pundits, as already witnessed in police forces around the country. Real or coincidence too?

  3. Personally I think we should have access to telephone logs and ip addresses exactly the same way as we have DVLA information. We don’t access that portion of the PNC without reasonable excuse either. God help you if you do. There shouldn’t be the need to fill in the reams of paperwork and use a third party operator to get the info either. Sometimes if I could work in real time I could ignore 90% of a phone log and concentrate on connecting the dots of the other 10%. The applications and waiting in most cases for itemised billing is a nightmare (or it was in my day). I am quite happy to stand up in court and explain my actions. On a similar note I think IOCA should be allowed to be given in evidence. Its not like nobody knows about it any more. Most of europe use it in court as long as it is duly authorised and relevant. As for May and her backing up her cronies in the press well if we as cops had that sort of relationship they would say we were corrupt

    Dorothy Williamson
    Isanja Beach Cottages
    Murrebue
    Pemba
    Cabo Delgado
    Mozambique

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