Wednesday, September 26, 2018

...and on rape victims

And speaking of bulk communications and personal data, it turns out that the UK also spies on rape victims, requiring "consent" for total access to their personal information if they want their complaint progressed:

Police are demanding almost unfettered access to highly personal records and data from potential rape victims before pressing ahead with their cases, the Guardian can reveal.

In some areas, complainants are being asked to disclose health, school and college records, counselling notes and all data from their electronic devices, documents obtained under freedom of information requests show.

In London, the Metropolitan police request access to social media, web browsing activity and content, instant messages, location data, emails, deleted data, images, videos, audio files, apps, contacts, documents, MMS and SMS messages – which can be kept for up to 100 years. The information provided can then be disclosed to the Crown Prosecution Service and the defence.

But in other parts of the UK no such information is required from complainants. The postcode lottery revealed by the documents has raised fears among campaigners that victims will be put off going to the police by the intrusion into their lives.

The amount and type of information demanded varies hugely around the UK. In some parts of the UK, they demand access to counselling notes and social services records - all of which are turned over to the defence to smear the victim. In other parts, they demand nothing. Strangely, they don't do this for other crimes - only for rape victims. Most of the information demanded is utterly irrelevant, but if a complaint is progressed, it all gets handed to the defence, who then get to use it to smear the victim, aided and enabled by this state prying. Its almost as if they want to discourage complaints, and prevent rapists from being prosecuted...

This is an appalling abuse of state power and control of the prosecution system, and it needs to stop. Now.