Monday, February 04, 2008

Bugging and the Wilson Doctrine

Interesting turn up here; it seems that bugging MP's is OK, but not tapping their phones. It appears that all those bright sparks in Parliament hadn't realised the significance of Gordon's statement on the subject when he said that the Wilson Doctrine applied to situations that required ministerial approval. Bugging prisoners doesn't require ministerial approval.

Anyway, who is to say the were bugging Sadiq Khan? If they were bugging the prisoner and Khan went to see him its not the same as bugging Khan. What if an MP rings someone who's telephone is being legally tapped?

I understand that in these circumstances the recording is to be wiped, but what if there is incriminating evidence or evidence of a crime to be committed? Maybe it the information can't be used in court, but those who hear the conversation can't unlearn what they have learned and certainly can't ignore it if they know a crime is about to be, or has been, committed, can they?

Furthermore, as Guido points out:

If the Labour MP Sadiq Khan has done nothing wrong, he has nothing to fear. Isn't that what the government and Sadiq told us about ID cards, CCTVing, finger-printing, phone-tapping, DNA swabbing, and database building. Too late to get all civil libertarian now they have come for him...
All this commotion is quickly looking like a severe case of SLOPS*

*Severe Lack of Perspective Syndrome. A phrase I first became aware of when a friend living in HK used it to describe the reaction of Europeans to the SARS outbreak.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Tee hee to that quote from Guido. Frankly I find this whole story blown up out of proportion (given that the chap probably wanted to blow something up out of all proportion ...)