The following submission was made to the Isle of Man's Department of Home Affairs in response to the Draft Surveillance Bill 2003 consultation. 16th April 2003

The consultative document can be found on the Isle of Man Government's website

The Draft Surveillance Bill

Mec Vannin has considered this document and its intent in terms of broad principle. We consider that any surveillance by a government body or agency that does not relate directly to a reasonable (i.e. capable of being demonstrated in a Court of Law) suspicion of criminal activity is an unacceptable invasion of privacy.

This instantly limits the specific bodies who can legitimately be authorised to carry out any form of surveillance and the instances in which it may be carried out. Certainly, the notion that Local Authorities be capable of carrying out surveillance operations is positively frightening.

We further believe that people who have been subject to surveillance should, as a matter of course, be informed of the fact once the surveillance has finished, should no  evidence be found. This should also apply to interception of communications.

Consequently, Mec Vannin recommends that this legislation be redrafted with those principles in mind.

Mark Kermode
Mec Vannin

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