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Counter-terrorism powers are too vulnerable to abuse


I recall vividly the day when a police officer – not one serving in Wycombe – told me of his disgust at a superior’s easy resort to counter-terrorism powers against people not suspected of terrorism. Now the police have taken that resort against a Guardian journalist’s partner, we have a story. In a video, the Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger explains that the disturbing element of the David Miranda arrest was the use of counter-terrorism powers to suspend the normal rules. […]

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Let’s not be hysterical about CCTV


As reported by the BBC and Sky, the CCTV Code Of Practice (PDF) comes into force today. Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch featured heavily on BBC Breakfast this morning, urging applicability of the code to private CCTV operators. Big Brother Watch writes: The code is a step in the right direction towards bringing proper oversight to the millions of cameras that capture our movements every day. However, with only a small fraction of cameras covered and without any penalties for breaking […]

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I didn’t seek election to roll forward Labour’s surveillance state


Via Government web surveillance: ‘Expensive, impractical, totalitarian’ – Telegraph: The Government’s plan to make Internet Service Providers capture personal communications data is nothing new. It was brought up under the last Labour government as the “Intercept Modernisation Programme” and received heavy criticism from the Tory party in opposition. The article concentrates on the practicalities of recording people’s internet activity. For a more philosophical point of view about why it shouldn’t be attempted, see Sam Bowman’s Our road to serfdom. Meanwhile, […]

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Remember, remember, the 5th of November


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As CNN reports, the V for Vendetta-style Guy Fawkes mask has inspired Occupy protesters around the world. CNN points out: Ironically Fawkes, far from being the anti-establishment hero he has come to be seen as in the years since his death, was a monarchist who merely wanted to replace the Anglican king with a Catholic queen. A transcript of his trial with co-conspirators is available here. It’s hard reading for one not accustomed to 17th century English but, in relation […]

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BBC News – Nudge not enough to change lifestyles – peers


As if ‘nudge’ were not bad enough: Plans to get people to adopt healthier lifestyles will not work unless the government is more prepared to use legislation, peers believe. via BBC News – Nudge not enough to change lifestyles – peers.

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