• February 25, 2010

The veil of secrecy surrounding the degree to which the Manx Police force spied on itself is so sensitive that even the number of warrants issued, covering serving and former Police Officers, cannot be revealed.

That is the startling response to a query by the Celtic League to the Isle of Man Chief Minister. In an astonishing example of Orwellian double-speak the Government say it would not be `lawful’ for them to release the number.

If anything the astonishing admission indicates that the Interception of Communication Act 1988 is nothing short of a `Snoopers Charter’ more appropriate to a Cold War communist state than to a liberal western democracy.

Text of Chief Minister’s response below:

“Dear Mr Moffatt

Thank you for your letter of 13 February 2010.

Proceedings in relation to the issue of warrants for interception pursuant to the provisions of section 2 of the Interception of Communications Act 1988 (as amended) are secret and it would not be lawful for me to respond to your request.

I would, however, refer you to the provisions of section 9 of the Act which relate to the functions of a Commissioner who, inter alia, is required to make a Report to the Governor in Council after the end of each year with respect to the carrying out of his functions under section 9. A copy of the Annual Report must be laid before Tynwald.

It is not possible for me to disclose any further information beyond that contained within the Commissioner’

s Annual Reports.

Yours sincerely

Hon J A Brown MHK
Chief Minister”

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