Saturday, December 06, 2008
Boy Terrorists in UK
The Daily Mail (UK) reported yesterday on a novel use of Great Britain's anti-terror laws.
They creep around in the dark spreading misery, rumour and secrets from inside Westminster.
Even so, paperboys and girls are hardly likely to pose a threat to national security.
One local council, however, thought it necessary to use swingeing anti-terror laws against them.
Cambridgeshire County Council used the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on eight paperboys thought to be working without permits.
It sent undercover council officers to lurk outside a Spar in the village of Melbourn and take notes on the movements of the boys.
The evidence was used in a criminal prosecution of the shop's owners for employing five of the boys without the correct documentation.
Cambridgeshire's approach is just the latest example of local authorities using the RIPA for minor misdemeanours.
The police motto there apparently is, "We spy on you because we can." It could happen here too.