BBC Uses Anti-Terror Spy Powers to Track Down People Who Haven’t Paid Their License Fee

002 keithThe BBC regularly uses spying powers granted under The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, intended for the interception of communications by terrorists, in order track down people for non-payment of the £145.50 per annum license fee.

The BBC and RIPA

001 BillThis is not the first time the story has surfaced. In 2012, a report was published by Big Brother Watch, who had sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to public bodies asking a number of questions, including how many times these powers have been used and for which offences. The report noted that a number of public authorities, including the BBC, “refuse to disclose how often, for what purpose and what type of surveillance they have undertaken”.

The BBC later commented on the matter on their blog, with seemingly scant regard for the infringement of civil liberties constituted by their use of the powers.

In our response to Big Brother Watch we were entirely open about the fact that the BBC does use these powers through its TV Licensing team to detect evasion, a criminal offence. This happens only as a last resort when other less intrusive enforcement methods have been exhausted. This information has been confirmed by the BBC on many occasions in the past and is documented on the TV Licensing website under the fourth heading ‘Detection’.

The Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review of the matter at the Commons culture, media and sport committee on 21st October 2014, telling the select committee:

“This whole issue of people who aren’t paying the licence fee, how do you go after them and get them to pay, needs to be looked at very carefully. “

“And that’s exactly why I set up this review, which is an independent review.”

The inquiry will be led by leading barrister David Perry QC, and will conclude next June.

The Rise of RIPA
001 BillThe exponential rise in surveillance permitted by law in the UK makes astounding reading.  Until 1986 there were severe restrictions on the police and state ability to surveil its citizens; phone tapping and the interception of private communications were inadmissible in courts and heavily penalised.  However, since 1986, an altogether different approach has been adopted.

The Thatcher governments Interception of Communications Act 1985 gave permission for phone tapping. These permissions and other communication interception measures were approved in 1994 and 1997.  However, the era of New Labour saw a massive roll out in surveillance under the guise of the war on terror.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 allowed the government full surveillance powers over all kinds of communications. The acts main provisions allow five new categories of surveillance from bugging of phones to spying and intercepting of communications.  It allows the Home Secretary to issue an interception warrant to examine the contents of letters or communications on various grounds including in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.  It also prevents the existence of interception warrants, and any and all data collected with them from being revealed in court.

It allows the police, intelligence services, HM Revenue and Customs (and several hundred more public bodies, including local authorities and a wide range of regulators) to demand telephone, internet and postal service providers to hand over detailed communications records for individual users. This can include name and address, phone calls made and received, source and destination of emails, internet browsing information and mobile phone positioning data that records user’s location. These powers are self-authorised by the body concerned, with no external or judicial oversight.

These powers have been extensively overused by police, councils and other enforcement agencies. It has rightly been deemed as a ‘snooper’s charter’.  The current rate is 30 warrants being issued a week. In the 15 months from July 2005 to October 2006, 2407 warrants were issued.  Some of the most egregious cases of misuse include: a council in Dorset putting three children and their parents under surveillance to check they were in the catchment area for the school they had applied to. The council has directly surveilled the family 21 times; other councils have launched undercover operations on dog fouling and fly tipping.

The Conservatives Are Not Your Friends

Budget 2008

Before anyone gets to excited and starts to believe Javid and the government are suddenly back-pedaling the surveillance state – this has zero to do with you civil liberties.

Sajid Javid is currently negotiating the renewal of the BBC’s charter, and as with all other public;ly funded services, the government is looking to ‘commercialise’ the venture.  He told the Guardian:

“We need to take a fresh look at how to fund the BBC for the long term … There are various funding models out there. Charter review should rule nothing out or rule anything in.”

Another means of the government maintaining a timid and complicit BBC.  The BBC will remain a faithful organ, committed to press release journalism on behalf of government departments and providing minimal challenge to No. 10 – or else.

If you had any doubt, you can check out their commitment to repealing the Human Rights Act – the legislative underpinning of our freedoms – should they win the next General Election in 2015.

It’s hard to defend the BBC in light of the BBC News’ unforgivable failure to educate and inform with regard to austerity, and its reporting (or absence thereof) on strike action, government cuts, protests, not to mention the intentional pro-Israel bias.

Few of us who are busy working together to create a real democracy would be willing to fight for the BBC News team which have manifestly failed, over years, to serve their purpose as our public broadcaster. But we need a non-corporate, publicly funded broadcaster that is democratically organised and delivered – which is the fight we are engaged in; to transform the BBC, not kill it.  To our government – it’s just another public service from which to turn a profit in the Great British Fire Sale.

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13 thoughts on “BBC Uses Anti-Terror Spy Powers to Track Down People Who Haven’t Paid Their License Fee

  1. Brief. They watch your online activity log for any live-feeds including iPlayer. If they see it, and if you have registered as not requiring a license (genuinely) since you no longer own a TV set or watch TV (LIVE) [Not your video collection], then you will get an email, first, or letter, and then a visit.

    Quite simple. You have avowed your honesty by entering an agreement with TVL (Television Licensing (Authority)) and if you should appear to be breaching that trust then they will take further action.

    OF COURSE! Under the current (temporary arrangement) NON+MILITARY JUNTA Government under which we live, telephone (iPhone) tapping and internet traffic monitoring using existing ANTI-TERROR legislation and powers given to GCHQ (Tempora) is one of the few options open in law left to TVL, to catch YOU at it.

    “Wonder of Wonders”, declared the Buddha, “I, the Great Earth, all sentient being, are the WISDOM & VIRTUE of the awakened one to Thusness”.

    There, is this starting to sound like the patronizing talk of a para-military state? GOOD THEN. For This is reality. Come to terms with it. I have, and I am un-begrudging just don’t read my hot and spicy emails to Pamela Anderson.

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  4. RIPA also allows for them to break into your home and install cameras and other devices in your bedroom, bathroom, toilet etc…..I actually found some of them. Literally a very small pinhole size hole….bloody amateurs, i actually found tiny crumbs of plaster on my bed which made me think to look for them.

    Those other ‘devices’….they won’t admit to, but rumoured to be ‘experimental’ tech that can also change moods/ thoughts/ how you feeling…and some even suggest actual mind reading and thought implantation/ manipulation. I would say hardly experimental considering they’ve been developing this tech since 1960s/ MKUltra….that is largely known.

    Another interesting statistic, govt own stat, is that death by ‘burglary gone wrong’ has been growing by about 40% per annum for the last ten years. Whilst all other violent crime is decreasing…you ever read those news reports when activists or TV license dodgers come home unexectantly and catch them in the act? No, I didn’t think so…

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  6. Revealed: how the BBC used MI5 to vet thousands of staff:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1522875/Revealed-how-the-BBC-used-MI5-to-vet-thousands-of-staff.html
    ‘Reds Under The Beds’ they could ‘detect’; serial paedophiles like Savile they couldn’t? No, even MI5 aren’t THAT thick; but like they and MI6 did with Kincora Boy’s Home, where high-level paedophiles slaked their Luciferian lusts unhindered, despite the knowledge of our ‘Security Services’ and the Northern Ireland Police, who let the abuse go on for three years, preferring to gather blackmail evidence against the perps, to use at a later date.
    Now we have the Lord Mayor of the City of London (that unparalleled nest of Masons) heading the child abuse inquiry? Ho, hum, expect some high-level heads to roll (on second thoughts, maybe not). Obviously, not all Masons know that at the pinnacle, 30* +, they acknowledge that Lucifer is their ‘God’ (JSM Ward ‘Freemasonry and the Ancient God’s’ and Albert Pike ‘Morals and Dogma’).

  7. Pingback: BBC Uses Anti-Terror Spy Powers to Track Down People Who Haven’t Paid Their License Fee | Scriptonite Daily | sdbast

  8. We need a Public Service Broadcasting system. The BBC has long been a ‘busted flush’. There was a time they put out some decent programmes (‘Gladio’; ‘Dead in the Water’ and quite a few more) but it has long gone. Their Jane Standley managed to say that World Trade Centre Building 7 had collapsed twenty minutes before it did (and it is plainly visible behind her); the feed was rapidly cut, to ‘We seem to have lost the feed’ or some such from the London anchor. Rather a coincidence, wot? But that wasn’t the only ‘coincidence’; when questioned about it, the BBC first claimed to have ‘lost the footage’; then, when people who had recorded it made their copies available, the BBC miraculously ‘found it’. There was never an adequate explanation for the strange ‘premonition’: ‘TV licence evader refused to pay because the ‘BBC covered up facts about 9/11 and claimed tower fell 20 minutes before it did’: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2284337/TV-licence-evader-refused-pay-BBC-covered-facts-9-11.html
    Here is my email to them, on 17/7/’13:

    BBC Licensing and Complaints Dept.

    ‘Please rest assured that I do understand how heartbroken you may well be, given
    the hordes of ‘Sheeple’ that are waking up to the fact that they have been bankrolling
    ‘Fat Cats’ (Guardian 1/7/’13 – ‘BBC criticised for six-figure payoffs’), Traitors, and
    Perverters of the Course of Justice (by producing and broadcasting false and misleading
    programmes vis-à-vis the true events of 9/11 and the 7/7 London Bombings), and the
    payment of very large fees to serial paedophiles such as (but by no means limited to)
    ‘Jimmy’ Saville and it’s ilk, and are ‘voting with their feet’ and refusing to pay your
    ‘Licence Fee’ (which would entail them breaking the law re ‘Aiding and Assisting
    Terrorism’, and ‘Aiding and Abetting Paedophilia’); I intend to join them.
    I do not watch or record live TV broadcasts (the other channels are just as bad as you,
    but at least they don’t demand a fee, they get their ‘fees’ from sheeple buying their
    advertiser’s products).
    Sadly to say, the BBC I grew up with has turned into a broken dream; I’m sure it was
    always a propaganda arm of the Establishment, but they did at least to put out good
    programmes on occasion.

    So, to sum up, I request you to stop sending me your begging letters, and to cease
    Communicating with me or otherwise harassing me unless or until you have evidence
    that I am watching or recording live programs, which I am not, nor do I intend to.
    I await the day you are brought to book by a competent court, to rule on your
    assistance to Paedophiles and Terrorists, and to your blatant breaking of your Charter
    to broadcast truthful and unbiased programmes, instead of being a propaganda arm
    of the ‘Shadow Government’, their ‘puppet’ politicians, the Banksters, Multinationals
    and NWO crew of War Criminal Sociopaths.

    Yours disgustedly,

    Paul Barbara.

    • A friend of mine offered to pay the licence fee direct to Israel instead of to the Bicom Broadcasting Corporation so as to cut out the middle-man and reduce costs. Seems sensible to me!

  9. Don’t forget the White Fish Authority – don’t they also have powers under RIPA?
    As for the BBC, this probably explains why they have so loiuttle time to report properly on Israel.
    Their coverage of the murderous assault on Gaza was cringingly bad compared to commercial channels.
    We need a public campaign to change the character of the Bicom Broadcasting Corporation!

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