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Ramadan Row Purification
Issue: 18 September 2009
1 in 78 UK Citizens
spied on in 2008
British spy agencies have come such as littering, dog fouling, and Germany’s Stasi but it beggars belief
under fire after an annual surveillance parking rules after winning the right to spy on one in every 78 adults,”
report revealed that 504,073 requests to request private communication Huhne said, revoking the totalitarian
were made to spy on British citizens data. ruler of the British author’s book.
last year. In his report, Kennedy also found The figure corresponds to spy
According to a report released by 595 errors in interception requests requests made for every minute of
the interception of communications last year, including mistakes made by the previous year.
commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy, the domestic and foreign intelligence “We have sleepwalked into
intelligence services, police and agencies, MI5 and MI6. a surveillance state but without
councils made more than half a “It cannot be a justified response adequate safeguards,” he regretted.
million requests in 2008 to monitor to the problems we face in this A Home Office spokesman said
citizen’s private correspondence country that the state is spying on the powers should be used only
from emails to telephone records. half a million people a year,” Liberal when they were “proportionate,” to
All of the requests were approved Democrat home affairs spokesman, ensure a “balance between individual
under the Regulation of Investigatory Chris Huhne was quoted by British privacy and collective security.”
Powers Act (RIPA), said the report. dailies as saying. In Britain, the average citizen
Recently, Local authorities and “The Government forgets is picked up by no less than 300
government agencies were criticized that George Orwell’s 1984 was a separate cameras per day, not
for abusing the RIPA for monitoring warning, and not a blueprint. We are counting road traffic cameras,
criminally-unimportant incidents still a long way from living under East according to a 2006 BBC report.
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