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back to article Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE

Home Secretary Theresa May today claimed in The Sun that her draft law to massively ramp up online surveillance of Brits will "save lives". The Tory minister managed to squeeze in a bit of last-minute lobbying ahead of the publication of a report by peers and MPs scrutinising her controversial communications data bill. In an …

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FAIL

Wow

She really is full of shit

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Re: Wow

Where being 'full of shit' is concerned:

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2012/evidence-for-the-cdb

From the blog entry:

We are very interested to see if the Committee took a look at the submission by Caspar Bowden on page 102 of the written evidence highlighting the testimony given by Peter Davies (Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre), in support of the draft Bill. Mr Davies gave an example of a murder case in Lincolnshire in which increased data retention could have helped.

A check on the internet for the details of the case show a rather different picture. Rather than featuring a communication data problem, the case was one in which the police failed to properly investigate the murder. Worse, it later emerged that a corrupt police officer had been feeding police intelligence about the victims — to the murderer.

Not perhaps the best example to give as the Home Office ask us to trust the police with huge amounts of new intelligence gathering.

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Re: Wow

In addition - thanks to the lack of editing for us mere mortals - another name comes to mind: Daniel Morgan.

http://www.channel4.com/news/pi-murdered-for-plan-to-expose-police-corruption

The police are the last people that should be trusted with this sort of power.

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Re: Wow

I would go further.

However, I suspect that my comment would be censored.

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h3
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Bitch

Bitch

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Re: Bitch

Unpleasant and misogynistic comments add nothing to the debate.

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Go

Re: Bitch

But still get upvoted because some people agree.

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Mushroom

Re: Mysogny

What happens when a girl calls her a bitch...?

<-- does this happen?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bitch

Bitch = Female Dog

Don't insult female dogs by comparing those to her...

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Re: Mysogny

What happens when a girl calls her a bitch...?

<-- does this happen?

Well, my wife (who's appearance and general demeanor would usually make people believe butter wouldn't melt in her mouth) would just call her a "snooty old c**t."

I'd have to agree.

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Facepalm

Re: Bitch

"Unpleasant and misogynistic comments add nothing to the debate"

Totally disagree, they seem to raise the quality of it to be honest. It's a debate that *started* in the gutter. As the legendary Yazz once said - "the only way is up".

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jai
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I read her comments, but all I hear and see in my mind is the sketches from MonkeyDust where the mob are stalking through the streets chanting "kill the peadophile!!"

And then I get distracted humming the Ivan Dobsky theme to myself and looking for a space hopper....

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Thumb Up

"On what grounds??"

"It's written on your trunks."

"That says Speedo. My hand was covering the 's'!"

"There's no smoke without fire!"

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Terminator

Re: Ivan Dobsky

I only said I'd done it so they'd take my bollocks out the vice!

By the powers invested in me by tabloid reading imbeciles I pronounce you guilty of paedophilia!

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Anonymous Coward

""That says Speedo. My hand was covering the 's'!"

"There's no smoke without fire!"

Males wearing Speedos seems to be taken as a sign of deviancy these days in the UK - and probably the USA too. High-board divers seem to attract much prurient interest from the general public.

It is interesting to see UK/USA visitors' reactions on holiday in continental Europe - when swimming pools cite hygiene grounds to insist on brief trunks. A recent travelogue from a USA youth group visiting Spain was punctuated by off-camera embarrassed comments - about the locals in the street wearing shorts well above the knee.

In the late 1950s England continental short shorts were a badge of sophistication - when compared to the traditional Baden-Powell below the knees ones. Before the advent of Lycra - the British thick woollen swimming trunks were in danger of producing hypothermia. At our Scout camp pool they were usually optional.

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MJI
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Facepalm

Waste of money

System would be a waste of money and isn't she of the wrong party?

Remember that a key part of conservatism is leaving us alone to get on with our lives, don't forget!

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Re: Waste of money

Remember that a key part of conservatism is leaving us alone to get on with our lives

That's only when they're in opposition, I think. Much like Labour who, now they're in opposition, are making much the same noises as the Tories did about Labour's plans for a Ministry of Snooping. Plus ça change...

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Re: Waste of money

> System would be a waste of money

Perhaps someone should ask her:

"How many lives is it estimated that this £1.8bn project will save? How many lives do you think that £1.8bn would save if it were invested in NHS neo-natal care units instead?"

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Flame

Re: Waste of money

Home Secretary = sock puppet for civil servants.

Different Home Sec. Different party. Different government.

Same policy.

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Unhappy

Re: Waste of money

""How many lives is it estimated that this £1.8bn project will save? "

Lives. No. Money. Yes

The claim is it will save £500m/year in the first 10 years, substantially more the £180m costs.

However you can't ask them how they worked out the costs.

And they won't say where these savings come from. Me suspicious? Damm right.

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Re: Waste of money

Live? No. Money? No. Jobs for ex-MPs? Yes

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Creep

> serious crime, terrorism and child sex offences

All very laudable ... except we know from past experience of "anti-terrorism" laws that they get perverted, converted and subverted into general-purpose anti-anyone-we-don't-like laws. You can't pass a law to say "this will only be used against people we suspect of .... ", once a law is on the books, it becomes just another tool to be abused: like the chisel that gets used as a screwdriver - it wasn't designed for that, but that's what it gets used for if it's convenient.

So the scope of laws creep out from the well-intentioned uses they were first written for and become just another weight hanging around the neck of our freedoms. Great idea in theory - terrible implementation in practice.

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Re: Creep

Wasn't there a 'power' granted to local councils that allowed them to spy on people who they suspected of terrorist activity, only for them to immediately use it to monitor anyone suspected of anything (not cleaning up after their dog, applying to a school while not living in the catchment area, etc...)

There's very little we can do about it though, the government long ago stopped caring what the public want or need.

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Re: Creep

The people who say they’re against this bill need to look victims of doggy poo, litter, and stuff they don't like in the eye and tell them why they’re not prepared to give the police the powers they need to control the public.

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Re: Creep

Wasn't there a 'power' granted to local councils that allowed them to spy on people who they suspected of terrorist activity, only for them to immediately use it to monitor anyone suspected of anything (not cleaning up after their dog, applying to a school while not living in the catchment area, etc...)

Yup, it's RIPA you're thinking of. See also the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, which the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, used to freeze Icelandic assets during the financial meltdown in 2008.

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Big Brother

Thoughtcrime

I'm not from the UK, but isn't increased government regulation and government intrusion supposed to be anathema to Conservative ideals?

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Holmes

Re: Thoughtcrime

Yes, but they seem to have caught the 'mummy knows best' mentality from the last lot.

A few brave souls have stuck to their principles (David Davis) and have been labelled 'courageous' i.e. 'you're on your own, sunshine' by the party leaders.

At least ID cards have stayed dead.

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Re: Thoughtcrime

"At least ID cards have stayed dead."

Only until the next election, when the chances are that the control freaks of the Labour party will have it back on the agenda.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thoughtcrime

"id cards dead" unless you'an immigrant. the unemployed will be needing "identity assurance" shortly...

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Coat

Re: Thoughtcrime

i already have an ID card. not one of the government types admittedly. but it does get me into such interesting places are government facilities and prisons*

*and perhaps most importantly, allows me to leave!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thoughtcrime

I never got why ID cards would cost so much or were such a big deal...

A high percentage of the population BUY an id card willingly, called a driving license. the rest often own a passport....

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Re: Thoughtcrime

The big concern is One ID To Rule Them All: IOW, a Big Brother situation.

If the same ID was required for all sorts of government activity, then people can be tracked by the use of that card: first by private enterprise, then by the government. It's an inevitable function creep. Americans fight the same fight. They would rather have the chaos of messed up elections than have One ID To Rule Them All.

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Re: Thoughtcrime

That was the issue, we have a driving licence, we have access to a passport, an oyster card, a bus pass, student ID, national insurance number. So why another level, why ANOTHER card to hold all that information.

BUT one that DIDn't replace all the others, that was the problem for most. And of course it held far too much information, did nothing that the other cards couldn't do etc etc etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thoughtcrime

"... isn't increased government regulation and government intrusion supposed to be anathema to Conservative ideals?"

As previous Conservative governments have shown - they only apply their libertarian principles to the making of money by their unscrupulous cronies. When it comes to interfering in ordinary people's private lives then they are resolutely authoritarian as upholders of "morality". The left and right wings of the ZaNuLabour party are much the same.

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Mushroom

Who watches...

...the corrupt scum making these laws?

If she is absolutely devoted to this, then we should at least have a pilot to see if it is of any worth. I propose 24/7/365.25 (ish) monitoring of MPs and senior civil servants with full openness so that we may see how many "meetings with interested parties" go through on a nod and a wink.

After (say) approximately 25% of our elected representatives are jailed, let the rest vote on whether this is a good idea.

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Re: Who watches...

When I made an FOI request for a list of websites visited by and recipients of e-mails from The Home Secretary (a public servant) it was turned down as it may be personal info as she might have been using the government network for private activities...

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Re: Who watches...

"as she might have been using the government network for private activities"

Surely, our elected officials would never be allowed to abuse government systems with personal use?

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Re: Who watches...

Apparently 'yes'.

Below is the full text of the Review when I appealed against their refusal...

<blockquote>

The review was requested of the decision to exempt from disclosure, under section 40(2) (personal information) of the FOI Act, information about websites accessed by the Home Secretary between 14 and 28 April 2012. Mr Pen-y-gors does not consider the information to be personal data, on the ground that it relates to actions by an individual acting in a public rather than a private capacity.

To determine whether the response was correct, it is necessary to consider first, whether the information requested is personal data and, secondly, whether it was correct to withhold it.

The information requested relates to a living individual, who is identifiable from that information. The information therefore meets the definition of ‘personal data’ in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act (DPA). The ‘public/private’ distinction relates to the question of whether personal information can be disclosed, rather than the question whether it constitutes personal data in the first place.

The next consideration, whether it was correct to withhold the data, is primarily a question of whether it would be possible to disclose the information under the FOI Act without breaching any of the data protection principles. The most relevant principle in this context is the first principle, which says (among other things) that data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless one of the conditions in Schedule 2 to the DPA is met.

As to whether disclosure would be fair, this depends to an extent on whether the Home Secretary would have a legitimate expectation that this information would not be disclosed. I consider that she does.

Although it is argued that the information relates entirely to the Home Secretary’s public life (on the ground that any website accessed by the Home Secretary would be related to the work of the Home Office), in fact this is not necessarily so. The Home Office policy on the use of the internet allows staff to make reasonable use of the internet in the office for personal reasons, providing it does not interfere with the work of the Department or take priority over work responsibilities.

I consider that the Home Secretary does have a legitimate expectation that the identity of any websites she may have accessed will not be disclosed and that disclosure would be unfair.

Even if we were to conclude that disclosure would be fair, it would still be necessary to meet at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 to the DPA. The conditions relevant to disclosure under the FOI Act are condition 1 and condition 6. There is no consent to disclosure, so condition 1 is not met. Condition 6 might be met if there was a legitimate interest by the public at large in the information, which was not outweighed by the legitimate interests of the Home Secretary. I consider that the legitimate interest of the public in

disclosure of this information is limited, particularly given the theoretical possibility that some websites may have been accessed for personal use. In any event, such interest is outweighed by the prejudice which would be caused to the Home Secretary’s legitimate interests in the information not being disclosed.

I conclude that disclosure of the information would breach the first data protection principle and that it is therefore exempt under section 40(2) of the FOI Act, as in the original response.

</blockquote>

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FAIL

Re: Who watches...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes indeed...

"I consider that the Home Secretary does have a legitimate expectation that the identity of any websites she may have accessed will not be disclosed and that disclosure would be unfair."

Really? That's interesting because I would consider it unfair for the Home Secretary to spy on me too. Actually she won't be doing it herself what will happen is that power will be given to the police. This would be the same police that is outsourcing much of it's back office staff to private companies. So within a very short time the government will be giving G4S the ability to spy on all of us. Just as well they are a competent, well run and not-at-all untrustworthy company, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who watches...

It would be one hell of a coincidence if she (Ms May) subscribed privately to the same porn as that rented by a prior Home Secretary.

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Unhappy

Re: Who watches...

"Surely, our elected officials would never be allowed to abuse government systems with personal use?"

But they must be given the benefit of the doubt.

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Re: Who watches...

> Although it is argued that the information relates entirely to the Home Secretary’s public life (on the ground that any website accessed by the Home Secretary would be related to the work of the Home Office), in fact this is not necessarily so.

In that case, in the interests of transparency, senior officials should NOT be permitted to make use of publicly funded internet access for personal reasons. There could then be no doubt as to there being a legitimate public interest in the information and no impediment to it's release.

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Vic
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Re: Who watches...

> I propose 24/7/365.25 (ish) monitoring of MPs and senior civil servants

No way!

By skewing the sample under observation like that, you'll end up skewing the results. We'll end up with "proof" that mass surveillance is essential because of all the crimes detected up by the pilot...

Vic.

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Flame

Re: Who watches...

"Below is the full text of the Review when I appealed against their refusal..."

But, but, but, surely Mrs May is a strong proponent of the doctrine "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" since she's been quoted stating that in not so many words on many occasions!

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Re: Who watches...

After all, who can look a victim of government corruption and abuse of power in the eye and say the police shouldn't have broader monitoring powers over the government? :) Frankly, I'd feel safer knowing what is actually going on with our officials than I would with another email / web snooping bill looking at my neighbors.

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Stop

And for all of you playing buzzword bingo

aka please-don't-think-critically-about-this-TERROR-OMG-THINK-OF-THE-CHILDREN

> serious crime, terrorism and child sex offences

HOUSE!

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Re: And for all of you playing buzzword bingo

OMFG TERRORPEADOS!!!

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Childcatcher

Re: And for all of you playing buzzword bingo

"OMFG TERRORPEADOS!!!"

Exactly. The militant wing of the ***.

Notorious for their graffiti campaign "P******r seal of approval"*

*Actually there has been no such campaign. But that's not to say there might not be at some point. Which is of course why everybody must be watched 24/7/365 forever.

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Stop

"Anybody who is against this bill"

Anybody who is for this bill is in it for themselves.

What a repulsive and transparently self-interested harridan.

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Re: "Anybody who is against this bill"

What a repulsive and transparently self-interested harridan..

I'll be charitable and propose an alternative view: she's as thick as two short planks.

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