Free speech in the chiller as police pounce on journalists and academics – John Jewell

1 11 2015

image-20151030-16514-kescn8Two incidents have stressed the fragility of free speech in Britain in the face of police use of anti-terror legislation to seize materials from journalists and academics.  Read the rest of this entry »





News: Home Affairs Select Committee says RIPA is not fit for purpose – Eurydice Cote

9 12 2014

gchq1The Home Affairs Committee (HAC) has now published its report on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, has announced that: Read the rest of this entry »





Journalistic freedom, RIPA and misconduct in public office: lessons from Sally Murrer’s case – Gavin Millar QC

14 11 2014

Citizen-Header-July-52012In 2008 I defended a journalist called Sally Murrer at Kingston Crown Court. Sally worked for the Milton Keynes Citizen. The Thames Valley Police wanted to identify one of their officers as one of her sources. Read the rest of this entry »





Hacked Off: RIPA, Phone Hacking and Press Double Standards

29 10 2014

PoliceThe press have come together to present a united front following revelations that police have been accessing journalists’ phone records under provisions in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The unanimous condemnation is in stark contrast to the censorial press coverage of the phone hacking scandal. Read the rest of this entry »





The Times, Police Hacking and the Loophole that never was – Evan Harris

22 10 2014

The_Times_20_10_2014On 20 October 2014 The Times had an alarming front page story with the headline “Police use loophole to hack phones and email” [£]. It was said that the police were “hacking” into hundreds of people’s voicemails, text messages and emails, using a “loophole” in surveillance laws. The complaint was that, instead of obtaining a warrant from the Home Secretary, the police were “getting round the rules” – by obtaining a production order from a Judge. Read the rest of this entry »





RIPA, Caryatid, and the News of the World Newsdesk – The Regular Contributor

14 10 2014

News-of-the-World-006The current press outrage about police using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA) makes for interesting debate. Many are surprised. But it isn’t a new police tactic. It was used at least as far back as Operation Caryatid – the original MPS investigation into phone hacking by Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire. Read the rest of this entry »





The Hackers Hacked and Press Freedom in Peril – Angela Phillips

12 10 2014

gchq1For the first time since the start of the hacking enquiries, the British Press is speaking with one voice in its condemnation of the police use of special powers to investigate journalists’ phone records. Read the rest of this entry »





Did nobody really know that phone hacking was illegal? – Chris Brace

8 07 2014

PhoneIn last week’s mitigation by Timothy Langdale QC on behalf of Andy Coulson, it was said that nobody realised that phone hacking was illegal. The implication has been that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (“RIPA”) and the Computer Misuse act were some pieces of law, that nobody realised would actually apply to journalists. Read the rest of this entry »





News: Brooks and Coulson phone hacking appeal dismissed by Court of Appeal

28 06 2013

rebekah-brooks-andy-coulsonThe Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, today dismissed appeals by phone hacking defendants from a ruling of Mr Justice Fulford that the interception of previously read voicemails was an offence under section 1(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (“RIPA”). The unsuccessful appellants included Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, and Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s former head of communications. Read the rest of this entry »





PRISM: The real concern is that governments may not be breaking any law at all – Matthew Ryder QC and Simon McKay

10 06 2013

PRISMIn the coming days politicians and security officials on both sides of the Atlantic are going to be forced to explain the revelations in the Guardian and other newspapers about PRISM.  This program appears to have been set up to allow the US government access to personal data held by Google, Apple, Facebook and other tech companies. Read the rest of this entry »