Sophie Borland and James Slack
UK Daily Mail
Saturday, Nov 1, 2008
More than half of town halls admit using anti-terror laws to spy on families suspected of putting their rubbish out on the wrong day.
Their tactics include putting secret cameras in tin cans, on lamp posts and even in the homes of ‘friendly’ residents.
The local authorities admitted that one of their main aims was to catch householders who put their bins out early.
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The shocking way in which the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act – an anti-terror law – is being used was revealed through freedom of information requests made by the Daily Mail.
MPs and civil liberties groups last night accused councils of using the draconian powers for trivial reasons.
Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said: ‘Snooping appears to have become the favourite pastime in town halls up and down the land.
‘Common sense has gone out of the window and instead of putting out more bins, councils spy on householders as if they were terrorists.’
Tory communities spokesman Eric Pickles said: ‘Under Labour, the rights and liberties of law-abiding citizens are being eroded through plans for ID cards, sinister microchip spies in bins and abuse of anti-terror laws by councils.
‘Taxpayers’ money is being wasted on bankrolling an army of municipal bureaucrats who have watched too many episodes of Spooks.’
This article was posted: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 5:34 am