When RIPA was going through Parliament in 1999, one of the things critics pointed out was the latitude it provided for mission creep. And so it proved — to the point where local authorities were using it to snoop on parents who were suspected of not living in the catchment area of the schools to which they wanted to send their kids.
Now, more evidence of the extent of the mission creep: Documents released by human rights organisation, Reprieve show that GCHQ and MI5 staff were told they could target lawyers’ communications. This undermines legal privilege that ensures communications between lawyers and their clients are confidential.
The news that legal privilege is being violated comes weeks after it was revealed the Met police have used RIPA to circumvent journalistic privilege that protects journalists’ sources.
The only thing that remains is the (Catholic) Confessional.