UK Liberty

The Home Secretary isn’t a politician says Tony McNutty

Posted in politicians on liberty, surveillance society by ukliberty on April 3, 2008

Reading some Uncorrected Oral Evidence given as part of the inquiry into the Surveillance Society and came across this:

Q514 Gwyn Prosser: But in terms of this Committee’s work on the surveillance society or the surveillance State, would you not say that the ordinary reasonable person in the street would be far more tolerant of allowing his or her data communications to be interfered with or intercepted or monitored if they knew that the authority for that monitoring was from an independent judge rather than a politician?

Mr McNulty: No. The question contains again part of the confusion. The Home Secretary, an independent politician, …

Q515 Gwyn Prosser: In terms of the warranty interceptions, which we all agree are interceptions and intrusions, are you able to say why authority by a politician is better than authority by an independent judge?

Mr McNulty: It is not by a politician; it is by the Home Secretary.

Q516 Chairman: Is the Home Secretary not a politician?

Mr McNulty: Absolutely,

Make your mind up man, we simple folk are easily confused.

but not any old politician; the highest politician in the land in terms of home affairs and these matters, and her job in that regard is again regulated and overseen by the Commissioners, and it is a power afforded to her by Parliament. Also, it is such a degree of intrusion I do not want it to be, in my own personal opinion, something that is a matter of legal norm by some judge.

God forbid it would be someone truly independent.

I would far rather it was that senior politician, and that she was held accountable for that.

I’m not sure how accountable MPs really are, and I will be exploring this in another post.


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