Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What's that tapping?

Blair's all in favour of allowing the security services to bug MP's phones it seems.

The outgoing Interception of Communications Commissioner (the what? Okay, whatever) has urged a Parliamentary committee to allow the spooks scope to bug who they like because "It is fundamental to the constitution of this country that no-one is above the law or is seen to be above the law."

But seeing as the secret services has a bit of a track record at trying to derail representative democracy shouldn't we apply that rule to them first? Until we can be sure that the spooks are above board, and will be in perpetuity, we can't trust them to spy on our elected representatives.

After all, even now it is Parliament who are accountable to them rather than the other way around. Where is the democratic accountability of the secret service when there is no transparency?

Who would they bug? Keith Vaz? George Galloway? Gordon Brown? And what *exactly* would they do with the information they accidentally retreive - like affairs, or support for left wing causes?

There is a case for having security services, I think, but up until now they have operated like a state within a state - and therefore we need to keep them out of the private affairs of our democratically elected representatives simply on the basis that if we give them the information to subvert democracy - they just might do it.

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