Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sound good sense - from the Tories!

It seems like the pressure on the government to do something about indiscriminate and expensive police spying is bearing fruit. While the Home Secretary is bullying police forces into reversing their decision not to fund the private spying corporation known as the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Police Minister is telling Parliament that it's unacceptable to have a private and unaccountable company (staffed by policemen paid by us) engaging in policing.
Herbert told MPs the case demonstrated strongly that Acpo should no longer have the responsibility for national organisations such as the unit that runs covert operations gathering intelligence on domestic extremists in England and Wales.
"Units like this should not be operated by Acpo and they should be operated either by a lead police force or in future the National Crime Agency where there is proper governance in place." Acpo currently runs national units involved in running counter-terrorism work, domestic extremism, vehicle crime and criminal records.
He also refused to comment on claims by MPs that both the names of the business secretary, Vince Cable, and the Green party leader, Caroline Lucas, were listed on the domestic extremism database simply because they had been present at peaceful protests. 

I always knew Vince was trouble.

Rather scarily, the Metropolitan Police say they need to take over ACPO's activities
 "so that it would come within our command and control system, which would ensure a) compliance with the law, b) compliance with rules and c) compliance with ethics."

Er… were they breaking the law? Will there be an investigation? Anyway, this is all rather excellent. Now we just need to know why the counter-terrorism squad are asking universities to inform on students. Since when has legitimate protest against fees been 'terrorism'? Ask your university's management if they've had the letter, and whether they've complied - or fill in a Freedom of Information request. The Hegemon has 'educated' more than one Guantanamo guest, so I presume that MI5 is active on campus already.

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