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Local councils misusing RIPA law to spy on citizens

Councils Accused of Spying on Citizens

Powers designed to combat terrorism and serious are being used by local authorities to spy on their citizens, according to a report from campaign group Big Brother Watch.

Details obtained from 345 local authorities across the UK under the Freedom of Information Act showed they conducted operations under the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act (Ripa) on 9,607 occasions between 2008 and 2011 – more than 8 a day.

According to the study, local authorities have used the act on 550 occasions to try to catch fly-tippers and for other purposes. Suffolk County council was said to have used Ripa to investigate the sale of a puppy, while Stockton borough council examines a fraudulent escort agency and the movement of pigs.

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Ines Burckhardt | Financial Times | August 22 2012

ICO disputes Freedom of Information Act findings on cookie reporting

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has dismissed claims that it is unprepared when it comes to investigating cookie compliance failures.

As detailed by SC Magazine, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by PC Pro found that 320 websites have been reported to the ICO through its online submission tool, but none of those sites have been investigated.

The ICO claimed that this was due to it not having a team in place to investigate, despite the laws being announced in May 2011 and enforced a year later.

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Dan Raywood | SC Magazine | August 21 2012



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