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Web cryptome

8 July 2008

Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 17:22:14 +0100
From: xxxxx
To: Cryptome[at]
Subject: Cryptome - BBC News touchy over RIPA


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: xxxxx[at]
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 11:14:29 +0100
Subject: FW: RIPA - important guidance
To: xxxxx



To:		Newsg UK All; Newsroom-All; News Programmes - all
Cc:		Jenny Baxter
Subject:	RIPA - important guidance

Newsgathering advice re Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

The ECU is upholding a complaint against BBC News for describing the
above Act as a piece of "anti-terrorism legislation" which was passed
"in 2000 as the threat of global terrorism was on the rise".  Please
refrain from using these phrases in future coverage of the Act as the
first is wrong, the second is misleading.

The purpose of the act was to  give legal structure to surveillance
following the introduction of the Human Rights Act.  The surveillance
was aimed at serious criminals and, though terrorists would fall into
the category, it is wrong to describe this as anti-terror legislation.
Equally RIPA was passed at a time when British law enforcement
agencies were more concerned with potential threats from dissident IRA
followers than a more global threat so it is misleading to imply that
global terror was a significant factor in prompting the legislation.

Should you need to describe the purpose of the Act in brief terms it
would be better to say it "covers all sorts of serious crime".

More detail from A&R

To confirm, the Act is not a piece of anti-terror legislation rather
it more wide ranging, creating powers to monitor criminals. According
to the Home Office website: "The Regulation of Investigatory Powers
Act (RIPA) legislates for using methods of surveillance and
information gathering to help the prevention of crime, including

The Home Office goes on to say RIPA makes provision for:
*	the interception of communications
*	the acquisition and disclosure of data relating to communications
*	the carrying out of surveillance
*	the use of covert human intelligence sources
*	access to electronic data protected by encryption or passwords
*	the appointment of Commissioners and the establishment of a
tribunal with jurisdiction to oversee these issues

[Source Home Office:]

The recent row about Pool Council spying on a family to see if their
children were living in the correct catchments area blew up because
the council used RIPA - which some said was a disproportionate use.

This an excerpt taken from an A&R brief:

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

Official surveillance of internet traffic and telecommunications was
introduced by the last Home Secretary, Jack Straw, in the Regulation
of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP). Published in February 2000, it
passed through Parliament and become law the following October. It
enables the creation of a power to monitor and intercept emails and
websites, channels through which online criminals, terrorists,
paedophiles and pornographers have traditionally been able to
communicate. Some data on computers, such as child pornography, is
often encrypted and the bill made it illegal to refuse a police
request to decrypt data. The Government implemented the provisions so
they were applicable to police forces, the National Criminal
Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad, the Serious Fraud
Office, the intelligence services, the armed forces, Customs and
Excise and the Inland Revenue.

(Source: Analysis and Research 2003)
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