Mar 262011
 March 26, 2011  Posted by  Laws, Non-U.S., Surveillance

There’s something very discomforting in this report by Kurt Bayer about how a council in Scotland has been using surveillance powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act for minor everyday types of disputes:

The guitarist with rockers The View has been spied on by council officials over claims he is an anti-social neighbour.

They stepped in after a flood of complaints about excessive noise coming from Pete Reilly’s flat in City Road, Dundee.

The snooping was revealed after a request for details of the city council’s use of powers.

The chart-topper yesterday said he had no idea that council officials had snooped on his second-floor home.

But he said he hoped it had proved once and for all he wasn’t a neighbour from hell.

Pete added: “I don’t think I am the antisocial one. The police were at my door on Tuesday for me walking around and making my bed at 9pm.

As the reporter notes, many of the complaints made about Pete and his flatmate’s behavior have been made by one person, who lives in the same building, underneath him. The musician has not been the most considerate of neighbors at times in the past, it seems, but even so, should a council being sticking their nose into this this way? Does Scottish surveillance law need to be revised so that its use by councils is limited to clearly serious offenses?

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