The last week has seen the appearance of two carefully-modulated Yes Minister-style statements, defending the government’s approach to data and surveillance and explaining why we have nothing to worry about. The first comes in the form of a podcast by allegedly fictitious government blogging supremo and Technology Outreach Tsar …
It's the yanks again
Is there any way we can blame the USAians for this? Surely we can find something.
A title is required.
@ Simon.W - I am dreadfully sorry to hear of Goldies sad demise. Perhaps the government would do us all a favour - and join it.
@ AC re: "only the Guilty" - I agree - right up until the point where you emphasised your innocence... no mate, EVERYONE is guilty of SOMETHING. Have you ever driven at 35mph past a school at 2am? Ever thought the word "pikey" or "n*gg*r", even in jest. All it takes is a quick change of another law, a new offence (say for example that most hienous activity of all... the spurious posting anti-noo-labour rhetoric on the internet) and you're nicked my beauty... cuff'im danno. "If the system stops [one rape]"??? I agree that rape is a most hideous crime - but prevention of a single instance... at what cost? What happened to, "the needs of the many outway the needs of the few - or the one". Yes, I have something to hide... a long established appreciation of cannabis. In your subsequent reply you add "stop breaking the law" but do be aware that hundreds of new ones have been introduced recently and we are no longer able to keep up with them... you may already, unwittingly, be a law breaker yourself.
Thoughtcrime - all your fears are belong to us.
So does Sir Neville-Kingdom hang out with Sir Branson? Or is he perhaps old enough to remember the war-time leader Sir Churchill?
Getting very bored
Of stories that come down to "government finds another innovative way to chip (hack?) away at your privacy, civil liberties and chances of getting to sixty without getting a criminal record".
Trying to find endless technological ways to find us all guilty of something or other is just simply wrong and has to stop. I'm at the point I'd vote for that fuckwit Cameron if I thought for a second it would help, which of course it won't.
Nothing to hide?
In today's paranoia state I'm already guilty of abetting terrorism and paedophilia. Someone quickly lock me up as I've watched terrorist propaganda, seen small children naked and can frequently been seen outside the school playground while wearing my long coat.
All the above is technically true. Given enough analysis I could very quickly find myself added to a secret list of names deemed unsuitable to work with children or even whisked off as part of some terrorist crackdown.
My actual crimes?
Reading the al Jazeera website (my cousin lives in Qatar). Knowing someone who lives in a terrorist friendly state who frequently can be seen consorting with terrorist sympathisers (read "muslims").
And, that most heinous crime of all, being a parent!
I'll accept being a Goth could be considered illegal in some parts of the world.
Re:@Only the guilty - @ac
***"Only people with something to hide (i.e. as yet unidentified law-breakers) have something to fear from such a process.
So, put simply, stop breaking the law."***
What an inordinate *prick* you are!
And how can you be *so* sure *you* haven't broken any law? Ever? Where do you draw the line between law-abiding and non law abiding. Accidentally broke a speed limit by 5 mph 10 years ago? Are you still law abiding? Murdered someone 10 years ago? Still Law abiding? How many crimes, and to what degree, do you need to commit to step over that line?
I sincerely hope that you review your past activities and compare them to the current UK statutes and common Law (this may take the rest of your life, of course). If you think you may have transgressed any I assume you will take yourself down to the local cop-shop to confess all.
Nothing to fear?
Why don't you tell that to Harry Stanley?
Or Nicholas Gaubert?
Or Jean Charles de Menezes?
or Derek Bennett?
or Steven Waldorf?
or James Ashley?
or Pearse Jordan
for our cousins 'cross the pond, Rigoberto Alpizar
or Randolph evans
I could go on and on and on and on, but I'm sick of this. OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES YOU MORONS!
This government is too overbearing, too powerful and too fucking nosey. Which is why I have just accepted a contract for insanely toe-curlingly large amounts of cash in North Korea.
Oh the North Korean government is crap, and they want all your data too. But the whole point is, they're crap. They wouldn't know how to collect it, don't have the technology or the infrastructure. Perfect.
Might be what as "necessary in the public interest", which sounds OK until you read the Identity Cards Act 2006, s1(4):
"For the purposes of this Act something is necessary in the public interest if, and only if, it is—
"(a) in the interests of national security;
"(b) for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime;
"(c) for the purposes of the enforcement of immigration controls;
"(d) for the purposes of the enforcement of prohibitions on unauthorised working or employment; or
"(e) for the purpose of securing the efficient and effective provision of public services."
I have a prize for anyone who can come up with anything a government department might want to do that isn't therefore "necessary in the public interest" - gotta love that "only if".
Sir Bonar Neville Kingdom
Sir Bonar is very knowledgable on the governments ID policy. The problem is that the policy is so farcical that it reflects badly on Sir Bonar. Government secrets from now on are to be carried in a bright yellow breifcase and there will be a serious repremand if someone loses one.
You really should listen to the podcast.
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- Episode 4 BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*