New police powers ‘will curb Press freedom': Officers will be allowed to confiscate material from journalists

Daily Mail:

  • Sweeping measures allow officers to demand information from sources
  • Changes may also see journalists forced to reveal whistleblowers’ identities
  • Worries over the affect new rules will have on freedom of speech

By Jack Doyle

PUBLISHED: 00:23 GMT, 15 February 2013 | UPDATED: 00:26 GMT, 15 February 2013

Police are set to be given powers to confiscate confidential material from reporters, sparking fears over press freedom in the UKPolice are set to be given powers to confiscate confidential material from reporters, sparking fears over press freedom in the UK. File picture

Police are set to be given new powers to seize confidential material from journalists.

In a worrying blow to Press freedom, the changes may also mean journalists will be forced to identify whistleblowers to the police.

Critics said the Home Office proposals, which follow recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson, would undermine investigative journalism and free speech.

It is feared that the changes will remove legal protections for anyone who releases material to reporters unless journalists can show their source did not breach confidentiality or act illegally.

The computer disc that contained the details of how MPs had been rampantly fiddling their expenses was technically stolen by a Westminster employee.

Padraig Reidy, of Index on Censorship, said: ‘These measures, if implemented, could have a real effect on journalism, free speech and the entire climate of  freedom in the UK.

‘They grievously undermine the concept of confidentiality between reporters and sources that is essential for investigative journalism.’

Currently, journalists have protection under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) from disclosing material to the police, even if  it had been obtained by a source  acting in breach of confidence or unlawfully.

But during the Leveson inquiry, the police argued those protections should be removed, and the judge agreed.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic
This entry was posted in England, freedom of speech, Soft totalitarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to New police powers ‘will curb Press freedom': Officers will be allowed to confiscate material from journalists

  1. BL@KBIRD says:

    I don’t know, seems tailor made for a budding Shariah state. Less Islamophobic possibilities as a handy bonus.

  2. Richard says:

    Britain is becoming more and more authoritarian I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing political refugees seeking asylum?

  3. Tom Billesley says:

    @Richard
    “becoming” ? ….. the Boston Tea Party was about more than the tea.

  4. BayouCoyote says:

    Magna Carta be damned! Prince Charles wants sharia, kuffar!

    http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2003/11/is-prince-charles-a-convert-to-islam

  5. Runner 7500 says:

    This is sad and scary.

  6. Richard says:

    Tom Billesley, I am aware that the Boston Tea Party was about taxes and rights that had been stripped from the people, I am also aware that John Adams considered the Boston Tea Party an act of hooliganism that stained the fight for liberty with criminal action.

    I still say Britain is becoming more and more authoritarian, it hasn’t yet reached the depths of contempt for the people that was Nazi Germany, the USSR and Red China (still there in Red China), so far Britain still has a shell of respect for the rights of some of the individuals. A shell that is thinning daily and will soon disappear.

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