Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Friday, 26 March 2010

Your personal mail? Not anymore.

Via the LPUK blog I see that Badgerbrows has snuck in another little bit of Big Brother legislation. Now the bastards can open your mail.
Officers will be allowed to intercept any suspicious mail anywhere in the country and open it before it is delivered, under plans being drawn up by the Government to amend the Postal Services Act.
The measure is billed as a bid to crack down on tobacco smuggling. However, a HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said the powers could be applied much more widely.
Currently, Royal Mail staff have a legal right to intercept suspicious letters and parcels in mail centres and sorting offices and pass them to HM Revenue and Customs.
Tax inspectors must then notify the addressee and agree a mutually acceptable time to open the letter or parcel, before deciding whether to take any enforcement acdtion.
However the Government is now proposing to remove the legal requirement which will now allow inspectors to open suspicious post without asking permission first.
Like Guthrum at the LPUK blog I'm confident that they won't abuse the privilege for, oooooh, it'd have to be minutes at the very least.



Spartan said...

Using the excuse of tobacco smuggling which is minimal by post they now have access to all our mail.

Due to the paranoia that is rife on so many levels through the UK, one is going to have to be very careful as to what one writes otherwise you could find yourself in the dock for another 'thought crime'.

l'll stick to e-mail and encryption

Leg-iron said...

Well that's going to bugger up Ebay and Amazon a treat. Parcels arriving pre-opened? There won't be much repeat custom.

Angry Exile said...

Spartan, a certain amount of care even then will probably be a good idea.

Leg-iron, the thought occurs that Amazon are about (pinches fingers together) that far away from dropping Royal Mail anyway. Or will this law apply to stuff going via DHL etc?

JuliaM said...

I'd think it applied to private carriers too. I must aask a Customs pal of mine (who used to refer to DHL as 'Direct Heroin Lines'.)

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