RIP

From Heather <heather@teknopunx.co.uk>
Date Wed, 15 Nov 2000 19:40:57 -0000


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http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/14721.html

RIP just got scarier
By: Kieren McCarthy
Posted: 14/11/2000 at 16:19 GMT

A suggested amendment to the Freedom of Information Act, put forward by
Lord Falconer, aims to automatically exempt all cases of Tribunals
concerning the RIP Act from disclosure.

The amendment (number 34, clause 22) reads "By the Lord Falconer
Thoroton,
Page 14, line 1, at end insert - ('( ) the Tribunal established under
section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000,')."

The Tribunal element of the RIP Act concerns any complaints made
regarding
the wide-ranging powers given to the government and security services to

investigate UK residents. The RIP Act has been widely criticised as
overriding human rights as defined by the Human Rights Act, and the
Tribunal will be an important aspect in deciding how far the law can be
pushed.

Those involved in the Tribunal system will be: the intelligence
services,
armed forces, police, National Criminal Intelligence Service; crime
squad
and Customs & Excise.

If the tabled amendment were to go through, this aspect of RIP would
effectively become top secret. The implications are obvious and are a
further worry for civil liberties groups. It is also another indication
that the Freedom of Information Act - a mainstay of Labour party policy
for
as long as we can remember - has become drastically watered down,
relying
as it does on politicians deciding what is and is not in the public
interest. 




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