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Inforrm’s Blog tells us: The Home Affairs Committee (HAC) has now published its report on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, has announced that:

“RIPA is not fit for purpose. We were astonished that law enforcement agencies failed to routinely record the professions of individuals who have had their communications data accessed under the legislation. Using RIPA to access telephone records of journalists is wrong and this practice must cease.”

RIPA allows public authorities, such as the police, to secretly request telephone providers to make available one’s telecommunications data. This data shows from where, to whom and for how long calls were made. The HAC report revealed that last year there were 514,608 requests for such data made under RIPA.

RIPA effectively allows the police to bypass the protections accorded to journalistic privilege in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) which oblige the police to apply to the court for a warrant to obtain journalistic material.

The concern amongst journalists that RIPA may be deterring whistleblowers from coming forward has been echoed by Keith Vaz.

The HAC report adds that “the whole process appears secretive and disorganised with information being destroyed afterwards... Wwe are concerned that the level of secrecy surrounding the use of RIPA allows investigating authorities to engage in acts which would be unacceptable in a democracy, with inadequate oversight.”

The blog site has further information so give it a visit.

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