As per a recent parliamentary report, government’s requests for spying private communications, has been doubled during the past one year.
The Interception of Communications Commissioner, Paul Kennedy, has reported that the number of spying applications from government agencies have reached 519,260 in 2007, as against, 253,557 in 2006.
In spite of these figures, local councils are not making full use of the intercepting services, and councils could make much more use of their powers, Kennedy added.
Only 154 out of total 474 local authorities have used the direct surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), implemented in 2004, the report stated.
Kennedy has emphasised the need of surveillance in checking various crimes, and maintained that the councils should become more attentive in exercising their powers.
Mentioning the relevance of snooping, Kennedy said, “Interception has played key role in the prevention of murders, tackling drug importations, evasion of exercise duty, confiscation of firearms, serious violent crime and terrorism.”