HOME secretary Jacqui Smith has pledged to crack down on council spies to prevent them from catching her doing something appalling.
Ms Smith said councils should only use covert surveillance in serious cases, which did not include poking about in people's bins, looking for their cable TV bill.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) allows public authorities to intercept electronic data and film suspected criminals, but some councils have used it to crackdown on careless sneezing and people posting letters incorrectly.
In one case a local authority devoted 120,000 man hours and more than half its budget to gathering footage of as many different animals as possible going to the toilet.
Announcing the review, Ms Smith said: "These powers are supposed to be used to combat terrorism and hound smokers to death, not to film me putting my bins out early or framing a Tory MP.
"Responsible citizens need to know they can put their shredded expenses claims in the bin whenever they want without being treated like some corrupt, grasping, second-rate politician with no control over her department.
"And if you're concerned about getting your child into a good school there's no need to pretend you live in the right catchment area, just agree to fund my husband's hard-core porn obsession and I'm sure we can work something out."