SCOTLAND’S new welfare agency wants to use anti-terror powers to spy on benefits cheats.
Social Security Scotland has applied for the power to use the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act (RIPSA) in a bid to combat welfare fraud.
The laws were introduced to combat serious crime and terrorism but have been used by a string of public bodies to mount surveillance operations on anything from dog fouling to fly tipping.
The Scottish Government last night said there were more checks and balances in the approach it is proposing compared to what currently happens with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
But critics said there was still cause for concern.
Griff Ferris, legal and policy officer for the civil liberty campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “The use of covert surveillance legislation to target people on welfare is disproportionate and extremely intrusive.”
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