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Emergency legislation announced this morning

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Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby atticus » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:06 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28237111

A big announcement this morning. It seems that legislation is to be rushed through permitting security services and police to continue to gain access to telephone and internet records. It is said that the legislation is required following a ruling of the ECJ earlier this year.

I am trying to understand the facts and issues. At present I am seeing a lot of posturing on all sides.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby shootist » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:17 pm

Any law that suggests the government and/or the police cannot do exactly as they wish is indeed an emergency, in their view.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Slartibartfast » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:42 pm

It's an absurd piece of theatrical nonsense.

Three months ago, the European court restricted UK government's vast surveillance of law-abiding citizens. Plenty of time for a public and parliamentary debate. But instead they wait until the last moment and then hurry it through with scandalous shroud-waving rhetoric.

Shame on Miliband for going along with that. Well done David Davis for objecting. If only DD had won the Tory leadership.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby dls » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:44 am

Exactly correct.

The point about all this is that if a search is targetted it is presumably based on a reasonable suspicion, and if so then no doubt the appropriate authority can be obtained.

If it is not targetted, then they cab bu**er off.

No doubt it would assist the police if we all had to wear a GPS tag so that if i two years tome they need to know where you had been they could find out. Tat does not mean that it would be right to insist on such.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby shootist » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:11 am

dls wrote:Exactly correct.

The point about all this is that if a search is targetted it is presumably based on a reasonable suspicion, and if so then no doubt the appropriate authority can be obtained.

If it is not targetted, then they cab bu**er off.

No doubt it would assist the police if we all had to wear a GPS tag so that if i two years tome they need to know where you had been they could find out. Tat does not mean that it would be right to insist on such.


As I understand it, these phone records that are tracked are not recordings of the call and what was said, but just the time, date, location, and number called. I also believe that this is not targeted but is a full record of all calls made. This will allow computer analysis of the calls to see who associates with who. This is thought necessary as there are so many 'Pay as you throw' sim cards now available that any self respecting would be terrorist will change his phone number as often as he ought to change his underwear. In areas of cities where there is a very high immigrant population such sim cards, often tailored for calls abroad, are freely available, openly and legally advertised, and cheap. I am sure that the number registered to Mr M Mouse is quite high.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:50 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:It's an absurd piece of theatrical nonsense.

Three months ago, the European court restricted UK government's vast surveillance of law-abiding citizens. Plenty of time for a public and parliamentary debate. But instead they wait until the last moment and then hurry it through with scandalous shroud-waving rhetoric.

Shame on Miliband for going along with that. Well done David Davis for objecting. If only DD had won the Tory leadership.


Spot on. It is worse than that, though. The Bill goes far beyond what is required to comply with the ECJ's ruling, and gives the Government power to go much further by Regulation.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:11 pm

shootist wrote:
dls wrote:Exactly correct.

The point about all this is that if a search is targetted it is presumably based on a reasonable suspicion, and if so then no doubt the appropriate authority can be obtained.

If it is not targetted, then they cab bu**er off.

No doubt it would assist the police if we all had to wear a GPS tag so that if i two years tome they need to know where you had been they could find out. Tat does not mean that it would be right to insist on such.


As I understand it, these phone records that are tracked are not recordings of the call and what was said, but just the time, date, location, and number called. I also believe that this is not targeted but is a full record of all calls made. This will allow computer analysis of the calls to see who associates with who. This is thought necessary as there are so many 'Pay as you throw' sim cards now available that any self respecting would be terrorist will change his phone number as often as he ought to change his underwear. In areas of cities where there is a very high immigrant population such sim cards, often tailored for calls abroad, are freely available, openly and legally advertised, and cheap. I am sure that the number registered to Mr M Mouse is quite high.


The trouble is that metadata reveals huge amounts of information, such that it is often unnecessary to know exactly what the content of the message was. If I were to ring the Samaritans, or someone was to phone an HIV clinic and then their life insurance company, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out what's going on. The extramarital affair of former CIA Director David Petraeus was revealed by comparing the IP addresses used to log into the Gmail account which he used to communicate with his mistress with his known locations. The assurance that the actual content of messages or emails won't be stored or accessed is, in many cases, essentially meaningless.

My principal objection, however, is that the state simply cannot be trusted to take this power upon itself. History suggests that powers taken, as an emergency and solely to deal with the most heinous of crimes, swiftly and without much debate become permanent and routine. That this is being presented as an emergency is, quite simply, bollocks. It is interesting to compare the number of British people killed by terrorism with those killed on the roads. Mysteriously, Parliament is not being requested to give emergency powers to deal with the Green Cross Code.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:26 pm

But as ever, it comes back to what can we do about it?
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:14 am

Hairyloon wrote:But as ever, it comes back to what can we do about it?


Write to your MP, asking for their assurance that they will not support it. Make it clear to them that this will cost them your vote, otherwise.

Write to local papers, challenging the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" bullshit. Talk to friends and neighbours, do they know that our government is behaving like the Stasi? Join Liberty or other campaigning groups.

Shun the internet providers who gave NSA a secret backdoor to our data (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo etc). Publicly condemn their lack of courage, their failure to resist despite their vast political, financial and technical assets.

Buy Glenn Greenwald's recent book on the Snowden affair, read it and lend it to others. Make it a Samizdat. Change your signature to an extract or link which points readers towards an detailed account of Edward Snowden's courage and integrity.

Install TOR or another encrypted communication system. Use it occasionally, teach others to do so. Our government is acting just as the Chinese do, and we should resist it democratically. Encrypt your hard drive, tell people why you did it.

Write to your ISP and ask them (as a Subject Access) what information they have given about you to state agencies in the last 3 years. Ask them for an assurance that you will be notified of any such disclosure. If they try to weasel out on an explicit commitment, tell them you don't trust them and close your account.

If enough of us did some of these things, sometimes, we could make personal privacy and the Surveillance State a major issue in UK politics. It does not have to be like this, we did not sign up to the PATRIOT Act (sic) and we can demand that our government desists from Orwellian mass surveillance. They are counting on our stupid complacency.
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Re: Emergency legislation announced this morning

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:17 am

^This.
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