25 June, 2002: No, no, shoot the messenger!

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Apparently, some radio nut has been listening in on police and `security service' conversations and publishing frequencies and transcripts on the web; the Today Programme made an enormous fuss about this, and got a few rentaquotes from politicians and an MI5 officer complaining about how terrible this is and how the man responsible ought to be punished and radio `scanners' banned.

(Note that the BBC, fulfilling its traditional rôle of responsible public broadcaster, did not quote the URL of the web site concerned, presumably for fear that its alert listeners would be able to distinguish reality from the hysterical early-morning claims of its investigative reporters.)

Not once did they address the question of why the police were broadcasting this sort of stuff en claire, nor how likely it is that terrorists and criminals will obey a ban. Nor, indeed, did they mention the whole TETRA cock-up....

Copyright (c) 2002 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.