What are the odds? The government gives itself (and it’s local government pals) a new power, gets caught abusing said power, gets a slap on the wrist, and then a year later is still misbehaving.
Local authorities in England are still spying on suspected minor offenders despite being banned from doing so by law, an official report has warned.
Since 2003 they have only been able to use undercover methods against those suspected of breaking criminal law.
If councils are breaking the law, then they need to be punished. At least heavy fines, but preferably prison time for the people who are continually authorising this practice, and for those carrying it out.
But the bigger lesson is this: once government has this power, it is never going to give it up. And the use of said power will become more and more widespread, because that’s what always happens with draconian powers that are brought in.
So, the moral of the story? Don’t let people get these types of power in the first place. It’s the only way to restrict their use at all.