The Financial Times has revealed that the state-sponsored British Broadcasting Corporation uses covert surveillance to collect the fee it charges citizens who want to watch television. The BBC's enforcement agency told the newspaper that "It is only used as a last resort once other enforcement methods have been exhausted".
The revelation was in a report on a study by the Big Brother group of use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The BBC rejected a Freedom of Information request by the group for information on how often and for what purpose it carried out investigations under the RIPA. But the Corporation did confirm to the Financial Times that it does carry out such investigations.
From November the approval of a magistrate will be needed and investigations will not be allowed for “trivial” purposes. It is not clear whether refusal to ask the BBC's permission to watch TV will be considered a “trivial” offence.Posted by Centre for Citizenship at August 22, 2012 09:59 PM