The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was introduced 'in the interests of national security' and offered a range of surveillance powers in order to fight the threat of terrorism. Unfortunately, the right to use the powers available under RIPA has widened from the police and security services to a range of 792 organisations, including all the local councils.
The Telegraph reports that the powers are now being used to crack down on illegal punts on the River Cam. Clearly a threat to national security.
Politicians are trying to do the impossible in managing vast public sector organisations when they lack experience and are only in position for a year or two. Unfortunately, all the time they spend attempting that, impossible, task leaves far too little time to seriously address the potential for the laws they pass to be abused. Parliament fails in its more fundamental duty, to make sure that the laws it passes do what they are intended to.