Avian rights activists are demanding answers from the government today after the Guardian published tweets from an insider at the RSPB, indicating the shocking extent of directed surveillance against birds. Not content with using undercover agents known as ‘twitchers’, the shadowy protection agency may be involving members of the public, including some who are underage, poorly trained and below minimum wage.
Operation Big Garden Watch is currently under way with bulk collection of data across the UK. The Guardian report alleges that information on all avian species, regardless of whether they pose a threat, are being held in huge databases and shared with the US.
‘Legislation is clearly being flouted’, stated Crispin Phelps, an outraged tit from Nether Wallop. ‘RIPA (the Regulation of Invasive People Act 2000) indicates that crowds of children with clipboards pointing en-mass and yelling ‘Sthparrow!’ at chilly dunnocks sheltering in the shrubbery clearly constitutes harrassment, and is illegal without a warrant. In addition, WTA (the Wingless Twit Act 2006) makes it an offence anything that isn’t another bird to intercept or interfere with our feathered brethren in the pursuance of their private business. We are seeing a rise in such outrageous practices as ‘tit cams’, which are broadcasting explicit material to networks of humans to watch via subscription channels.’
One victim of a similar operation in 2013, Snowden the White Egret, caused a public outcry after it was revealed that several different agents had reported his movements as being ‘in their back yard’ on the same date. Friends claimed that this was an outrageous misrepresentation. ‘Snowden maintains his lofty perch on a willow by the river Itchen, and wouldn’t be seen dead in their suburban gardens.’ said a close friend, Kevin Swan.
Ofcom has admitted that they are dealing with several complaints from outraged members of the public after a television campaign suggested they ‘hang their nuts where the birds can see them’, and count the number of cocks, chicks and other bird-related euphemisms their fat balls bring to their yard.