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[FYI] UK: Legal fears over e-mail tapping


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Legal fears over e-mail tapping 

By Jean Eaglesham, Legal Correspondent - 23 Mar 2000 22:21GMT  

Government changes to a new law allowing officials to bug and tap e-
mails and mobile phones are insufficient to comply with human rights, 
according to a new legal opinion.  

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers bill, "on the face of it 
breaches the new Human Rights Act on several grounds", said Tim 
Eicke, a barrister and author of the opinion.  


He said the courts would weigh up the "credibility" of the person 
charged - genuine excuses had to be balanced against a "criminal who 
pretends to forget".  

The Foundation for Information Policy Research attacked this 
approach. "The question of the reversal of proof has been festering 
for eight months," said Caspar Bowden, the foundation's director. "It 
is time for the Home Office to give a reasoned explanation of how an 
innocent person who has forgotten their key can be expected to prove 

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