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Speech on the timetabling of DRIP yesterday

Yesterday in the debate on the timetabling of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, I said: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): The subject of the Bill is of profound importance to members of the public who care about such matters, and no wonder because it is the paradigmatic example of the conflict between the rights of the individual and the power of the state as enabled by technology. The Bill can be understood only in the context of the very worst crimes […]

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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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Civil rights organisations capitulate on CCTV reduction – Big Brother Watch

From the excellent JP Floru: Yesterday I witnessed the lamentable spectacle of civil rights organisations bending over backwards not to lose their wished for influence over the government’s civil rights agenda. I attended a Freedom Bill Committee hearing in Parliament.  The witnesses included spokespeople for the human rights organisations Justice and Liberty.  At issue was the CCTV part of the proposed Freedom Bill. Read the rest of the article via Civil rights organisations capitulate on CCTV reduction – Big Brother […]

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The Great Deception

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This post from 5 April 2009 seems appropriate to bring forward, following yesterday’s motion on EU economic governance. Today, I shall be remembering those who have fought and died for our freedom over the years. A good time to complete Booker and North’s extensive history of the European Union — “The Great Deception – Can the European Union survive?” — seemed to be these last few weeks, as I visited Portugal, France, Germany and Austria. It was an enlightening read. […]

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Britain leads world in police state survey | The Register

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Via Britain leads world in police state survey • The Register: A recent survey from internet security consultancy, Cryptohippie, suggests that the UK is setting the pace in at least one area – though being classified as the West’s most repressive regime when it comes to electronic surveillance might not be a title that this government is entirely happy to wear. This result emerges from Cryptohippie’s recently published Electronic Police State 2008 (pdf). This is the first in what are […]

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The panopticon makes progress

Via BBC NEWS | Technology | Net firms start storing user data: Details of user e-mails and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) from Monday under an EU directive. Feel safer?

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Britain now the most invasive surveillance state

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Via Right to privacy broken by a quarter of UK’s public databases, says report | The Guardian, we learn that “Britain is now the most invasive surveillance state and the worst at protecting privacy of any western democracy”: A quarter of all the largest public-sector database projects, including the ID cards register, are fundamentally flawed and clearly breach European data protection and rights laws, according to a report published today. Claiming to be the most comprehensive map so far of […]

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For your ease and convenience: car tax

Apparently, the ease and convenience of the online car tax system means that DVLA in 2007 took 25% more online every day than that retail leviathan, Tesco. Apparently: In July 2007, our Electronic Vehicle Licensing (EVL) service was awarded the Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award (Wales & West Country) at the National Business Awards. and: By August 2007, our Electronic Vehicle Licensing service is estimated to have saved 13,500 tonnes of CO 2 from 48m miles of journeys […]

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Government abandons data-sharing scheme – Telegraph

The Government has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn over plans to share vast amounts of private data about individuals. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, is to shelve proposals which critics said would have led to patients’ confidential medical records being passed to third parties. A spokesman for Mr Straw said the “strength of feeling” against the plans had persuaded him to rethink. The proposals will be dropped entirely from the Coroners and Justice Bill, and a new attempt will […]

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Revealed: police databank on thousands of protesters

Police are targeting thousands of political campaigners in surveillance operations and storing their details on a database for at least seven years, an investigation by the Guardian can reveal. Photographs, names and video footage of people attending protests are routinely obtained by surveillance units and stored on an “intelligence system”. The Metropolitan police, which has pioneered surveillance at demonstrations and advises other forces on the tactic, stores details of protesters on Crimint, the general database used daily by all police […]

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