Mission Creep in the Wild

One of the concerns those of us championing civil liberties worry about is the matter of mission creep. This is something usually pooh-poohed by our opponents. The state is always benevolent, the state will never do us wrong and if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, right? Big Brother is your friend after all.

Well, via NO2ID, we get this little story.

TOWN hall snoops have been caught red-handed using the DVLA’s database to spy on people.

The Big Brother tactics emerged after councils were given the green light to use DVLA car registration records, strictly to track down owners of ­abandoned ­vehicles.

It all seems so reasonable. What could possibly go wrong?

Instead, and in breach of the rules, “inflated” bureaucrats have been checking up on residents suspected of offences that have nothing to do with motoring.

Well who would have thought it, eh? Town councils consist of people and people behave badly. Even those of us who are generally optimistic about the the altruism of mankind realise that there will always be some bad eggs and that there will always be a temptation to snoop and that there will always be someone, somewhere who will succumb. And sure as that bad egg is an egg, they do.

An audit of 155 of the 432 local authorities allowed to use the ­database showed that the DVLA’s ­system was accessed 750 times a day in the 2009/10 financial year.

However, it was discovered that ­councils were using the system to track down people for a variety of offences including horse fouling, littering and owning out-of-control dogs.

This was entirely predictable. Just as councils’ misuse of RIPA was entirely predictable. There is only one cure and it is a simple one. Don’t give them access. If they want information on a particular abandoned vehicle, they they can ask the DVLA about that vehicle and that vehicle only. It isn’t difficult and it keeps the nosey bastards out of the database.

1 Comment

  1. I doubt the new government coagulation will be racing to reduce state power, now it’s in their hands, but this is what must be done. Sadly all three major parties drink from the same barrel of hegelian hooch.

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