Europe's top privacy official says the European Union is weakening a planned privacy protection in order to secure agreement for the proposal. He says the agreement threatens to reduce privacy protection in Europe. Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervison (EDPS), has made his warnings in relation to the Data …
Did we join the Eastern Block, or did they join us?
Imagine you travel back in time to the 1970's Western Europe and have to explain to a person of that time what the future is like.
"Well, we all carry personal phones, a record of everywhere you ever travel and who you called is kept for 2 years. We don't have letters anymore, we send 'electronic' letters, a record is kept of every 'e-letter' sent and to whom, again for 2 years. But that's just in case you're not a model citizen, nothing like the monitoring of mail by the Stasi! Totally different."
"Flight records are passed for pre-checking to foreign powers, they check them against their secret watch lists but refuse to tell us whose on the list or why. No, nothing like the Communists, it's different!"
"Every interbank transfer is recorded for inspection, but only by the USA, no this is not the same as when the Russian KGB monitored all eastern block citizens, it's totally different I tell you! We have checks in place to stop it being misused, well they tell us they have checks in place, and only misuse it a little, so it's different I tell you!"
"A secret file is passed around, it's contents are not fact checked, may have already been rejected by a court, you cannot see it, or challenge it, it is passed around and may negatively impact your life. Oh and the Eastern block countries may pass it on to Russia and the Western ones to the USA, because we didn't put any limits on further transfers of this info. Will you stop sobbing!".
"Did I mention that you can be arrested for something that isn't a crime in your homecountry, or the country your in, or even in Europe? And that you can be extradited to the USA without a judge checking any of the evidence. Oh but that was just an oversight, they granted automatic extradition, but forgot to prevent countries granting foreign powers the same automatic extradition. You know, a mistake, a blunder. Take that gun out of your mouth, everything is fine!"
"Oh and the Soviet Union collapsed, but the KGB man is back in power and his opponents keep dying from poison."
"So keep fighting the Cold War and those damn Communists or all these wonderful things won't come to pass. ".
How about we have a show of hands. Hands up which countries want to be in the EU and which countries want to be in the Warsaw pact, and we can go our separate ways.
And in the UK the government want to put everyone into a central register with your biometric data which can be shared with more or less everyone, and the police keep the DNA of more or less everyone they encounter and use it to profile potential genetic predispositions to crime.
You can't say what you like becouse it could upset someone.
You can get arrested for looking at your pda whilst in a train station on a mild day if you're wearing a coat.
You are a terrorist, the police just havn't made up enough evidence yet.
Welcome to the West. Land of freedom.
@Did we join.....
That post must be the candidate for the comment of the week. But why did you post anonymously?
Oh - yes - guess I understand .....
Welcome to the West. Land of freedom.
I blame Blair for that, but I don't think it's irreversible.
Take the recent enhanced crime, "failing to identify the person driving a speeding vehicle" that will get you 6 points on your licence now.
This is a Blairism, the council install a camera to catch speeding *drivers*, however they photograph speeding *cars* instead. They could simply turn the camera around to face oncoming traffic like mainland Europe does, in Germany the photograph shows the car and the driver's face.
It's the council's camera that fails to identify the speeding motorist, not the owner of the car.
Instead we had the Blair fix, he constructed a crime that assumed the driver is always the owner and created a burden of proof that means the owner is guilty by default. So your grey Ford Focus has it's number plate cloned and the burden of proof is on you to show you were not driving that cloned vehicle. Impossible. Or you say your son was driving and he says it was you, and the police need a perp to prosecute. Impossible to prove your son was driving.
I don't like Blair, he was a piece of sh*t. He made knee jerk laws to please other people, newspapers, foreign governments, TV programs Bush, lobby groups, pretend victims out of special favours, and his laws presumed guilt, or lowered the threshold for evidence. He failed to consult on these laws, and ignored criticism from Parliament and weakened the House of Lords.
He was always right, legal tradition, facts, experts, other people etc were all wrong and he and his little group of friends would make laws on that basis.
So now there's a bunch of Blair sh*t all over the British legal process, and everything he did should be reviewed. Is this proportionate? Was there a better way? Does it do more harm than good? Does it remove the individual protections?
We've had leaders go astray before, it doesn't mean his work can't be fixed.
The only upside....
... is that, throughout my entire childhood and youth, whenever I would argue with some rightwinger, and I'd say something like "I don't think property is worth more than people's lives", or "I don't think the unemployed deserve to starve to death", they'd always come back with that tired old "If you like the soviet union so much, why don't you go back there" line.
And now, when they tell me that everyone should be under 24-7 surveillance, and the police should take dna and fingerprints from babies at birth, and there's nothing wrong with the government having a secret file on every single citizen...
...at last, I get to say the same back to them.
Ahh, sweet vindication!
"We've had leaders go astray before, it doesn't mean his work can't be fixed."
Nothing has gone astray. Everything is happening according to plan, and that is now being accelerated. There is some uneven development between different countries, but convergence is now required and being instituted. The USA and UK have kept very much in sync, although the operational sequencing has differed at times. The EU expedites the procedure, as does the virtual NAU. This has nothing to do with the people or the politicians. You will soon meet the new masters of the world.
Their weakness, perhaps only weakness, is that they are racists.