back to article Government grants itself even more data sharing power

The government's proposals to increase data sharing between departments will be buried in the Coroners and Justice Bill - which is expected to be presented to the House of Commons today. The bill is expected to include measures covering the government's response to the Data Handling Review, which we covered here. In essence …

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Black Helicopters

One litle bit...

at a time.

Seems they've modified the "a good day to bury bad news" strategy into a "good bill to bury database legislation in" strategy.

"Parliament needs to wake up before it has no say any more."

When exactly is the next election 'due'?

Because that's when the time will already have run out by.

"Papers, Citizen!"

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Linux

Rusty Shackleford wonders...

Has the 8:33 from Waterloo been re-designated a Government Department now? Because most data seems to be left on the train. That is the stuff that isn't lost in the Department of Postman Pat's Van.....

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Black Helicopters

What's really scary..

is that JS (Could be Jacqui Smith - could equally be Josef Stalin) will continue to grant ever increasing powers to her tame Chekists & Apparatchiks and yet there will STILL be an astonishing number of seemingly intelligent people - excluding the obvious culprits, such as recipients (public sector/claimants etc.) of the state's munificence with our money - who will continue to vote for them on the misguided grounds that "Labour stands for the working man, innit?".

It doesn't, and hasn't since the late 1920's, when the upper middle class "intellectual socialists" subtly hijacked the party - viewed by some as harmless dilletantes, but in fact as hardline, repressive and authoritarian as any bolshevik.

The image of avuncular socialism has been fostered by keeping on board the occasional genuine prole - usually dim but controllable - who has been pure window dressing, and generally kept as ineffectual as possible. Previous Deputy Prime Minister strike any chords?

They have utter contempt for the genuine working class, where family ties were traditionally strong, and this self-proclaimed "intelligentsia" hates & despises the family unit, believing it to be a bourgeois tradition, diluting the first loyalty which they believe is due to the state and to the party.

The assaults on our liberties are a multi-pronged attack to eliminate the old-fashioned ideas of individuality, (ref: OWNLIFE, 1984) and the (by now) quaintly naive idea that a government exists to serve its electorate. In NuLab's Britain, this idea has of course, been turned around 180 degrees.

And yet they'll STILL get an overwhelming majority in so many benighted constituencies.

Since they have taken "1984" as a training manual/instruction book, perhaps at least they will be honest in one area, and return to Mr Orwell (real name Blair - there's irony) for their next election slogan:-

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

George Orwell

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DNA FAIL!!

Data Whore Jacqui Smith has been dealt a bit of a blow in her quest to build her collection of uk-pokemonstyle-population-profiles. The EU has just ordered her to destroy the fingerprints and DNA samples of more than 857,000 innocent citizens that her drones had harvested (see here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/dec/05/dna-database-civilliberties) that said she has yet to decide if she is going to press the DEL key, perhaps she'll forgo that conventional method in favour of leaving them on a train?

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True Blue Genes .... for Virtualised Big Branding Irons

If your every Move is as Read in an Open Book, will IT Invite Inpute for Transparent Peer Review and Adoption/Adaptation. Having Secrets requires that Security Protects an Unknown Quantity which may only be Imagined Fears and Ill Conceived Threats.

That is a Terrible Abuse in Present Use?

Thus do Bright Sparks Share Everything with Everybody in Order that IT Heads be Dead Honest.

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Anonymous Coward

Violate privacy right bypassing Parliament

'Remove data sharing barrier' is simply another way of saying "remove right of privacy without consent of Parliament", but using the "sharing" word makes it sound better.

You know, like how copyright violation sounds better if you say you're *sharing* content...

Shared source sounds so much better than 'source code with a nasty contract attached'.

Sharing is good right? So sharing data is good, helps prevent the killing of children, protection of lapdancers or something with vulnerable people in it.... all snuggly.

The speech practically writes itself : "if more departments had shared their information we could have prevented this tragedy to little .........(fill in later)...... people say we shouldn't pool our data, but little .........(fill in later)..... life is precious and if I don't share this data it would be like giving a government license to terrorists, and that is something I will not do!"

If I was a Labour MP in Parliament, I would reject another reach around like this, because I'd want to get re-elected and I wouldn't have faith in a certain minister not to misuse this in ways that would make my party and myself unelectable for decades to come.

But that's just MHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Typical

Why does this not this surprise me?

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Stop

I trust them

The bit where it said...

"The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public interest and proportionate to the impact on any person adversely affected by it"

Can be interpreted as ...

"The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the Government sees fit and anyone objecting to this will be detained indefinitely under the terrorism act."

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write to them

Hi Reg,

can you put a permanent link on your site to mysociety.org, theyworkforyou.com and writetothem.com on your site, it's all very well just complaining to each other about what they are doing but if a few of us 'grumpy old men/women' actually got of our collective arses and told them what we think it might actually help.

I know that the links won't make you any money but look at it as a bit of community service (as opposed to the actual community service we will all be doing when they have criminalised us all :)

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Anonymous Coward

privacy impact analysis

Government honcho in cushy office, looks at bill, "So does this impact MY privacy... nope, job done!"

And I still find the name "Ministry of Justice" increadibly sinister.

I mean how can you have a Ministry of Justice, does it have throngs heroic paladins ready to battle the impending hoards of demons from beyond the depths of hell?

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Stop

Examples and Threats

AC, because I commented on the draft bill.

The example given in the internal consultation was about digital tv; apparently when oap's get certain benefits they don't also sign up to have their details transferred to the team helping with the Analog switchover so they couldn't target them for help. Is that the best they could come up with? And from coverage in Private Eye, it appears that those who did get 'help' were signed up to expensive digital satellite rather than sold a £20 freeview box by the lovely third party (BSkyB) who were contracted to do the follow up.

Not sure if has made it to the current stage but the draft had a clause about compelling data sharing, with two years in jail for those not complying, presumably to stop those with a conscience from interfering with the duty to share data.

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typical

not one bit surprised!

typical of the self interested, sneaky UK gvt. to do something like this.

to hell with it... what is left of this constitution that isn't overruled by some new hidden law?

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Happy

Seems reasonable

This seems reasonable to me.

The alternative of "They knew all about it but didn't/couldn't act because the stuff was on someone else's (inaccessible or not acceptable) database.

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Flame

Really?

"...The new power will lead to a more streamlined process for policies requiring data sharing whilst at the same time allowing fuller parliamentary scrutiny..."

Except in the cases of national security, market sensitivity and confidentiality agreements - where (presumably) no scrutiny is allowed because of said subjects. In that case EVERYTHING becomes a case of one of the three types and oh look, we can do whatever the hell we want without any recourse, oversight or parliamentary scrutiny.

Charming.

I am so glad I have left the UK.

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Flame

A date for your diary !!!

The Euro elections are in May 2009 a clear message can be sent to our Jailers then, that we dont want them micro managing our lives and we are all sick to death of being told how good it will be when they have everything on a database that will be shared as and when they require with all the rest of Europe.

Anyone who wants my vote can have it, the only people who will not now or ever get it again will be our present Labour party,they can stick that on a database too.

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Newspeak?

"Ministry of Justice" Ah, that wouild be Minijust you;re wanting then, is it sir?

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Nice quote Ted, I nor I would imagine can many others, add more. Let us hope tht the rivers of which Enoch Powell spoke do not flow. But why should I be that lucky? Time to bin these useless wannabe Stalins, Gary

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Ahhh. ... "The Ministry of Information"

In another five years or so, they'll probably be getting into dragging us subversives in, for "Information Retrievals" -- Where's "TUTTLE" when we need him!

-NK

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Faith Sold Out for a Dodgy Foundation?

"it's all very well just complaining to each other about what they are doing but if a few of us 'grumpy old men/women' actually got of our collective arses and told them what we think it might actually help." .... By Neil Morgan Posted Friday 5th December 2008 10:26 GMT

Neil,

If you were in a Cabal Undermining to Takeover a Parliamentary Monarchy for a Crooked Foreign Capitalist System, would you listen to Electronic Chatter. And as all e-mails are carefully vetted in Routing with Deep Packet Inspections/Binary Analaysis of Root, they will invariably end up exactly where they need to be, with everyone Primed for Action and HyperRadioProActivity

Strewth, most MP's have only just progressed to the mobile phone and their Ignorance in CompleXXXX Communication matters is an arrogant ready excuse, sadly all too easily possibly true, for Silence and Inaction. And whether Natural or by Inelegant Mischievious Design, will Fate Decide their Destiny in Fitness for Future Purpose.

A much better idea would be to advise Public Servants of a Network of Site with Registers of Interests that need addressing. That way they will not be able to plead Ignorance when Arrogance is Presented .

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Flame

Right we all know it's way out of order so ...

what are we going to do about it , go the usual British way, have a good tut then let them get away with it ?

I think our children will be very grateful to us if we do that. Did they have privacy when you where little Grandad.?

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Black Helicopters

(Reg, how long is this linked to my IP in your logs?)

A Ministry of Justice [MiniJust - thanks Gary!] Spokesperson said:

Sharing data is essential ["we want it"] for the delivery [imposition] of efficient [what is this waste you almost speak of?] and effective joined-up public services [how do my bin men need to be joined to my hospital? Or the library to the dole office?] , tackling crime [dissent and other results of years of opressive anti-society policies] and protecting the public ["If you just give us the keys to your home, we can look under the bed for those nast terrorist monsters!"]. The new power will [might?] lead to a more streamlined process for policies requiring data sharing [total surveillance and data mining] whilst at the same time allowing fuller parliamentary scrutiny. [because they will be left with fuck all to scrutinise] Any draft Order would require Parliamentary approval [which we can always blag] and a Privacy Impact Assessment [which we will shred]

Additionally, the Information Commissioner would have been invited to comment [and be ignored and/or buillied] on the proposals. This will ensure that any potential privacy issues and risks are identified and examined [and laughed at]. The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public ["There might be a terrorist hiding in that hard drive!"] interest ["well, ok, our interest"] and proportionate to the impact on any person adversely affected by it ["when all their data are belong to the 8:33 from Waterloo"].

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Alert

And another thing... [by [ ] abuser]

For anyone still on the "thin end of the wedge" stage of their dispiriting hike from the cosy valley hamlet of Ignoranceville, all the way up to the sickening vista at the summit of Mount Learned Cynicism...

I'm obliged to point out that what you're feeling is actually the thick end of the surveillance state's rectal speculum.

So get a bloody move on.

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Coat

Write To Them

As someone who has actually used the Write To Them website I can confirm that my local MP does read and act on what he is sent. However, something else I noticed is that he is one of a rare breed of politician that actually does so. He is also one of a rare breed that requests input from his constituents with regard to how to vote on many issues. If only all politicians were that approachable.

As for the rapid increase in totalitarianism by this government, it's no surprise. For starters Labour has always been a totalitarian party, study your C20th history regards to food rationing. Food was rationed for many years after the end of the Second World War, despite the fact that the UK was a net exporter of food. When the country voted and almost changed to a Tory govt the response from the then Labour govt was to punish the country by reducing rations. Rationing was only lifted in 1951 when the Tories gained power.

At times of extreme social unrest totalitarianism increases. It was the social unrest and economic breakdown in Germany that allowed Hitler to gain power in 1933. It was the fear of a complete breakdown of society that persuaded the rest of the country to agree to his demands.

Today we have the fear of Al Quaeda (who actually hasn't done anything in the UK, so far all plots in the UK have involved UK residents) and the threat of a recession deeper than the 1920-30's. So again it is this fear that is persuading this govt that they must control the population. It is ironic that while Hitler was taking over Germany our own govt was increasing the social liberties of the population.

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Anonymous Coward

The French

We should be adopting the French method where government departments can not exchange data without authorisation and going through an approval process.

The departments have to justify why they want to exchange data, specify what they want to exchange.

The French take their data protection far more seriously than the British Government has.

But, the British Government doesn't want to take it seriously: it would hinder them in their goal to create a Stalinist Orwellian state.

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Anonymous Coward

@Alex - DNA Database

"Data Whore Jacqui Smith has been dealt a bit of a blow in her quest to build her collection of uk-pokemonstyle-population-profiles. The EU has just ordered her to destroy the fingerprints and DNA samples of more than 857,000 innocent citizens that her drones had harvested (see here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/dec/05/dna-database-civilliberties) that said she has yet to decide if she is going to press the DEL key,"

13 judges ruled unaminously against Smith. If she doesn't delete the data then this case is going to be progressed further and I suspect the British Government - unless they can find a cunning way out of it - are going to be forced to do it by the European Court.

A police officer on the news was saying they need to find a way to retain the capability but comply with the judgement. It was obvious he didn't agree with the judgement.

But I think that copper seriously needs to think about what capability that 875,000 DNA samples of innocent people actually gives them.

I think a Freedom of Information Act request should be submitted asking "How many of the 875,000 samples of innocent people have actually come up positive in searches being conducted on the database? ie. How many of those 875,000 have been found guilty of a later offence?". Answer, probably none. If not none, then they wouldn't show up in the search of innocent people would they?

So, they're not adding any value then? Just sitting there in the database using up storage, costing money and being an infringment of the individuals human rights.

Sometimes I wish I was Prime Minister, and I promise you, I'd bang people's heads together and sort this kind of crap out.

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Pirate

re: Right we all know it's way out of order so ...

By ensuring that if the case turns up where they take my DNA I ensure I am not innocent. I will be guilty of as many counts of GBH to as many officers of the "law" as possible. If I am to be considered a potential criminal I shall ensure the potential is fully realised.

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Pirate

re: Right we all know it's way out of order so ...

PS If we want to meet up with a million others in London to walk into the houses of parliament and evict the corrupt politicians (and, in the interests of efficiency, the non corrupt ones too, because, they may *later* undergo corruption later), I shall be there.

No need to be armed. We just have to accept that out of millions, tens of thousands may fall wounded by baton and gas, but there's still more left to get in there.

And I have no problem being in the van.

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Pirate

Not how parliament works

@ AC 09:11 5 Dec:

"If I was a Labour MP in Parliament, I would reject another reach around like this, because I'd want to get re-elected and I wouldn't have faith in a certain minister not to misuse this in ways..."

You might. But unless you are on the bill committee or have a special interest, it is more likely you would get all your knowledge of the government's legislative programme and its consequences from PLP Briefings - which in this case will concentrate on the *popularity* of harsh-sounding new sentencing provisions in the "justice" bit, and on the presumed utility of data sharing for unimpeachable-sounding purposes such as "medical research". You will in all probability turn up to vote when instructed at the end of the debate, but otherwise stick to being an overpaid socialworker (sub. nom. "good constituency MP") and spouting whatever line has been fed to you as this week's message.

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