Theresa May Will Be Able to Identify Journalists’ Sources

Home Secretaries will be given powers to identify journalists’ sources without authorisation from a judge. Theresa May has confirmed she will be able to sign an “urgent warrant” to view journalists’ sources without consulting a judge, which will then be subject to “review” in the courts:

“There will be an urgent process, so it will be possible for a Secretary of State to sign an urgent warrant for it to come immediately into effect, and then there will be a period of time within which the judge will have to review that and then make a decision as to whether it should continue or not.”

Given the widespread abuse of RIPA by the police, and coppers then covering it up, this is a concerning attack on the most fundamental basics of press freedom. They’ll be entering newsrooms to smash up hard drives next… 

UPDATE:  A Home Office source gets in touch to stress that the urgent warrants will only be used in extreme circumstances, for example when there is an immediate threat to life, with a warrant then having to be authorised by the Judicial Commissioner within five days, at which point they would rule on whether the data can be kept or destroyed. They insist this provision means sources will always be protected…

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