* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2021 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

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Re: BOLL - OCKS

This person isn't being paid because she has a phobia. She is being paid because 'Wifi makes her sick.'

Lets assume that the symptoms she suffers from aren't psychogenic and have been verified by a doctor. Just because it's clearly bollocks that they could be caused by EM doesn't mean she hasn't got those symptoms. There are many chronic and debilitating conditions out there that the causes of are not fully understood, and many conditions that are now understood that previously were misunderstood or not explained. It doesn't mean those syndromes aren't real.

Okay, so the jury may be out on whether this woman has anything physically wrong with her, or whether it is psychogenic, either way, the compassionate thing to do is to try to help her, not to demonise her, whether or not she is correct about the cause of her illness.

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Many companies are no longer providing coverage for health damage from cellphones

Many companies also don't provide coverage for health damage from:

- UFO attack

- Zombie apocalypse

- The antichrist

- Moths

- People called George.

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Wacko in book promotion shocker.

Film at ten...

In reality, all the proper studies, and meta-studies (of which there have been many) have shown... absolutely nothing. I'd choose to go with the scientific consensus rather than someone with the clearly vested interest of trying to sell a book to the gullible.

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Re: Not implausible

I'm going to go all out and say that what you are experiencing there is... vibration.

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Re: "in addition to the magical stones and healing ointments"

The herd immunity problem with measles is that it is so contagious that the level of immunisation has to be up around 90% in order to prevent spread and to protect those who can't be inoculated, either because of immune problems, or genuine allergies to the ingredients, etc. What the anti-vaccers are doing, particularly in the case of measles, is killing other people's immunocompromised children because of their own ignorance and pig-headedness. To me, that is not okay.

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Re: BOLL - OCKS

So, you think the state shouldn't fund the treatment of mental illness? I hope you never suffer from depression, or have something unpleasant happen to you and subsequently suffer from PTSD - it's all in the mind, don't you know...

Note that in this case, I'm not saying the French state is right to categorise her illness as EM sensitivity, but a psychogenic illness is still an illness, and can still be debilitating.

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I've experienced headaches after repeated, long duration calls using a few mobile phones.

I've experienced headaches after even short conversations with some people. No mobile phone needed.

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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

I don't have a real sensitivity to wasps either, doesn't stop my heart rate doubling, or more, in the second or so after seeing one.

I don't understand some people's reaction to wasps. Agreed, they can give you a nasty sting, but they are also slow-flying and not very agile. It's not too difficult to smack one out of the air with the palm of your hand and then tread on it if you really must dispose of it. Personally, I find house-flies far more annoying.

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BACS Bank Holiday BALLS UP borks 275,000 payments

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Re: I feel sorry for

So, lets say your company has 200 employers, paid an average of £1500 a month, what you're saying is that their local bank should keep £300k in cash just in case they can't pay their employees via BACS. Oh, and then do the same for the other 20 or 30 companies that use that branch? Sounds totally sensible to me...

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Re: I feel sorry for

It doesn't matter that the employer is not at fault.

So, what you are saying, is that you think it is perfectly reasonable to bring a civil case against someone for something that is demonstrably not their fault, and which you acknowledge is not their fault. Lawyers must love you, idiots like you are their bread and butter - they still get paid even when you lose the case!

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Re: The bank could close for a month and I'd be OK.

Yes, you're an OAP, which means you were working, and earning, at a time where reasonably paid employment was available for pretty much all, property was affordable, and for those who couldn't afford to buy a house, rent and bills didn't consume the majority of your take-home earnings. Well done, you're comfortable. Maybe considering doing something to help those who aren't so lucky as to be in your position, rather than gloating about it, because for the younger generation now, the situation certainly is NOT the same.

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Password 'XXXXairocon' pops Wi-Fi routers from ASUS, ZTE and others

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Re: Long live Telnet

telnet from internal IP isn't the problem. The problem is that the manufacturers make these devices that allow remote admin from the WAN side (by whatever mechanism), and then compound their crime against common sense by hard-coding a user name and password for it.

The first thing any sensible person should do when getting a new piece of network kit such as a router is to go into the configuration settings and make sure all WAN-side access is disabled. That, and check for firmware updates. These days, it's often trivially easy to do so by going to the gateway address in a browser (usually 192.168.0.1, 11.0.0.1, or similar), logging in with the default credentials (9 times out of 10 it's admin/12345 or similar) and changing those settings, along with the default password.

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Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

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I find this somewhat hard to swallow

Given that pretty much every phone I've had from voda has has their bundled crapware on it, from the old Sony Ericsson I had years ago with all the icons replaced with horrible colour-clashy vodafone ones to the HTC One M8 I have at the moment, which I can put a custom ROM onto if I want (thanks to HTC allowing this), but can't get rid of the horrible voda logo on start-up and shut-down. And don't start me on all the voda branded apps which I had to go through and disable one-by-one, because they cannot be uninstalled.

The cynic in me thinks that they want 'vanilla' phones so they can have absolute control over the shitware that they stuff on there, without the option of having the manufacturer's software instead.

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Bruce Schneier: 'We're in early years of a cyber arms race'

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It's funny...

I've been reading his newsletter for over a decade, but only now found out what the man actually looks like.

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Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

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'Full' Credit Card Details

"If there is full credit card data in a dump, it’s not from us, because we don’t even have that," Bhatia added.

Those sound like weasel words to me. That can (and probably should) be read that they don't hold full CC details. In other words, they may only have the name on the card, card number, expiry date, and cardholders address, but not the CVV code (the 3 digits on the back which retailers are not supposed to store after a payment is processed anyway).

That's still PLENTY of information and certainly enough to make card-not-present fraudulent transactions against the card.

For instance, Amazon doesn't ask for the CVV code when using its 'one-click' checkout, instead they absorb the cost of any fraud themselves, trading it off against 'ease-of-use'. Your opinion on whether being able to accidentally click on a button and charge your credit card is 'ease-of-use' may vary...

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Is this the most puzzling DEF CON attendee badge yet on record?

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...also...

I reckon the first part is probably a traditional substitution cipher. Replacing the numbers with the corresponding letters in the alphabet gives:

ZRJNUEQMQSVVTSVVHGHVLYANXLTBXLXJGGFNRBVYRCFXGYKIPNVLAXIYBQVIZXEETXGWQRDMBKVWXKAGBKSF

to June 18th Two Thousand Twenty Four

MLZIRMPXNLRE

If this is a substitution cipher, it should yield to frequency analysis (for example, V probably corresponds to E or T). I don't have the time right now to have a crack at it - any takers?

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It's much more likely to be 'elcome to defcon...' and it's missing a leading '9' for 'w'

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

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Well it's perfectly clear to me

The Chinese Ministry of State Security would never use this as a targeted backdoor to exploit specific machines by, for instance, injecting alternative versions of driver code onto specific machines when they 'phone home'. Never.

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

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Re: The UBIK flaw

+1 for the PKD reference. I wonder if this flaw can be manipulated by purple beams from intelligent satellites in space?

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FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP

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Re: Must be a myth

Hear that whoooooosh? That's the sound of irony flying over your head.

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HTC caught storing fingerprints AS WORLD-READABLE CLEARTEXT

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Re: Broken Implementation

@Arnaut

Here, let me google that for you.

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Broken Implementation

A correct implementation of a fingerprint scanner takes a scan of your finger as the input, and produces a hash as an output. At no point should it be producing an image of the finger and putting it anywhere outside of its own working space, and it certainly shouldn't be writing it to a file!

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Spanish developers strike gold with ‘Mr Mayor’ dodgy dealings gaming app

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Re: Pardon me?

@John "had written" is in a tense known as the past perfect, which, unsurprisingly, is used to refer to things that happened in the past. I took what the OP said to have meant that if this sort of thing had been done mocking Franco, when he was still about, things might not have ended so nicely for them.

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Re: Multiple versions required

And the British version would be how to say 'excuse me' in as many different and novel ways while they shaft you

And how to say 'bloody immigrants' while living on the Costa Del Sol.

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ANIMALS being CUT UP to make Apple Watch straps

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Advertising fluff piece incoming

in 3... 2... 1...

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Jail incompetent council folk who leak our data, thunders furious BBW

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Re: BBW???

Yeah, best not google that with safe-search off. At least not at work...

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Tobacco field bacteria offers hope for buzz-kill smoking therapy

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Re: Not likely

I'd suggest that if they have managed to reproduce the enzyme in the lab, then it's likely quite a small example. The next step in drug development is to isolate the active site, and replicate it in a non-protein molecule, something small enough to cross the gut-blood barrier, and stable enough to survive the harsh environments of the stomach and upper intestine. Proteins make bad therapeutics because they are broken down into amino acids in the stomach, and because they cannot cross into the bloodstream. The hard part of drug development is to make a molecule that is hardy enough to survive the gut, small enough to reach the bloodstream, non-toxic enough to not have serious side-effects, and stable enough to not go poof as soon as it reaches the liver. Ones that target processes in the brain also have the unenviable task of getting across the blood-brain barrier which usually means that they have to be very small indeed, or target certain channels.

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Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

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Re: A battery charging a battery

The main use case for these chargers seems to be for people who can't survive without updating their Instagram every 5 mins or tweeting about which coffee shop they're in.

My partner has a portable charger battery (not an EE one). She has it because her phone has no removable battery, and a crappy battery life (less than a day if she uses Wi-Fi or GPS). It has bugger-all to do with the pointless social-media bleating that some people do, but is because sometimes she wants to use the features of her phone, such as using the GPS to measure exercise, using Google to look something up, or $deity forbid, make a phone call.

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Re: Common sense

Anyone who has ever experienced a hydrogen fire can also tell you that they are extra fun, since, when small at least, they're pretty much invisible - there's no smoke, and the flame is colourless in the visible spectrum. The first indication you'd normally get is when they set something else on fire, or set a heat-detector fire alarm off.

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Re: Er, have you ever heard of "risk assessment"?

How would they not know the age of the power bars though? Presumably, these things have a serial number on them. It would be trivial to keep a database of serial number vs issue date and withdraw them when they reach a given age. You could easily keep other data such as number of times returned, charge level and time to charge, etc.

I'm not an EE customer, so I don't know if this is the case, but presumably, they have some sort of way of checking these things in and out, so they know who has one?

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Wait, what? TrueCrypt 'decrypted' by FBI to nail doc-stealing sysadmin

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Exactly. My first thought was rubber hose cryptanalysis.

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Re: keylogging...

This wired keyboard can still be tapped , but would require physical access.

Are you so sure of that? What about the RF emissions from that keyboard?

A paper on exactly this

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Re: GnuPG

The Ken Thompson compiler hack (and if you don't know about this, I'd you to read about it, it's fascinating and enlightening) means that the only code you can REALLY trust is that which you have compiled yourself, by hand, into assembly language, and then laid down byte-by-byte into memory.

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Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last – by leaked Snowden files

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Re: @moiety

I heard that on a train in 1998, by some guy who thought he was clever. It was no more true then, than it is now.

Funny that, I first heard it in a blog by Bruce Schneier.

In case you don't know who he is, he is one of the world's most widely respected security experts (computer and otherwise). Who are you?

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Re: Fascinating. @ NoneSuch

Robbed wholesale from Wikipedia:

Cui bono (/kwiː ˈboʊnoʊ/), literally "to whose benefit?", is a Latin phrase which is still used.

It is the key forensic question in legal and police investigation to find who has a motive for a crime.

In other words; when the Police investigate a crime, the position to take is not that of Hanlon's Razor and assume incompetence, but to look at who benefits. The corollary to this, is to 'follow the money', particularly when examining the acts and habits of British politicians. The assume they are not up to something is a nice thought, but possibly a little naïve.

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Chechen women swindle ISIS via social media: 'We need roubles to join you xx'

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Re: Why arrest them?

As far as I recall Sutcliffe didn't rape nor torture people he killed prostitutes, or at least in the beginning those he thought to be.

The OP is probably confusing Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) with Ian Brady (The Moors Murderer).

Either way, the leap of logic required to equate a series of brutal attacks on women with a hammer and knife to defrauding a group of the words vilest murdering terrorists is pretty big.

The only problems I could foresee the police having with this activity are:

- Any contact with a terrorist organisation should always be investigated as a matter of course, no matter how innocuous it seems.

- The women profited from this, so arguably are receiving the proceeds of crime. They probably should not be officially allowed to keep the money

- Their activity was unsanctioned.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that various international covert agencies (CIA, MI6, FSB, Mossad, etc.) were doing the same thing, but in a sanctioned and 'officially' controlled way.

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Get root on an OS X 10.10 Mac: The exploit is so trivial it fits in a tweet

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Re: Congratulations on repeating exploits before they can be fixed

Congratulations on repeating exploits in detail before they can be fixed by anyone...

...because all REAL hackers get their ideas from articles on the Reg, not from attempting to target known classes of vulnerability (hint: various privilege escalation exploits are nothing new). If you think that keeping flaws like this secret from the public does anything to stop a dedicated, skilled and experienced black-hat from exploiting them, then you truly must be one of the most naïve people around.

While I've got your attention, I've got a bridge here I have to sell quickly, I've got the permits and the deeds and everything. You wouldn't be interested would you?

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

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Where I work

Although we are a software house, we have a dress code, which is 'shirt and tie' (except Fridays). The shirts I wear are never ironed, and the tie has holes in it. I'm smarter on a Friday in cargos and a T-shirt.

The only dress code should be not to wear clothes that would prevent others from doing their job, for example by being so skimpy as to cause embarrassment to others. Other than that, why the hell should it matter?

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Shamelessly copied from IMDB...

Kryten: I ask the court one key question: Would the Space Core ever have allowed this man to be in a position of authority where he might endanger the entire crew? A man so petty and small minded, he would while away his evenings sewing name labels onto his ship issue condoms. A man of such awesome stupidity...

Rimmer: Objection.

Justice Computer voice: Objection overruled.

Kryten: ...a man of such awesome stupidity, he even objects to his own defence counsel. An over-zealous, trumped up little squirt...

Rimmer: Objection.

Justice Computer voice: Overruled.

Kryten: ...an incompetent vending machine repairman with a Napoleon complex, who commanded as much respect and affection from his fellow crew members as Long John Silver's parrot.

Rimmer: OBJECTION.

Justice Computer voice: If you object to your own counsel once more Mr. Rimmer, you will be in contempt.

Kryten: Who would allow this man, this joke of a man, this man who could not outwit a used tea bag, to be in a position where he might endanger the entire crew? Who? Only a yoghurt. This man is not guilty of manslaughter, he is only guilty of being Arnold J. Rimmer. That is his crime; it is also his punishment. The defence rests.

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PEAK PLUTO: Stunning mountain ridge snapped by New Horizons craft

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Re: Cryovulcanism

I think they should be named The Mountains of Madness, after all we have apparently already decided to refer to a region on Pluto as 'Cthulhu', what could possibly go wrong?

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Do we even know what the 'dark' and 'light' materials are made of? presumably there's some sort of spectrographic instruments on board to measure the chemical composition? Has this been done and we're just waiting on the data?

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The Register's resident space boffin: All you need to know about the Pluto mission

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Apparently 'Charon' (the moon) is pronounced 'Shar-on', not 'car-on' (like the ferryman) because its discoverer wanted to name it after his wife (Charlene), but the naming conventions of the IAU say that objects shouldn't be named after spouses or mistresses. Charon was chosen, as a compromise, as it sounded a bit like his wife's nickname 'Char', hence the pronunciation, and also the Greek/Roman god confusion (Charon is the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology, Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld, so maybe we should start referring to the planet as 'Hades').

Shall we reach a deal: you don't refer to yourself as 'Shris' and James Christy doesn't refer to his wife as 'Karlene'.

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Dwarfworld PLUTO may not have a real DOG on it - but it does have a TAIL

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Re: Astroid with 90 million tons of platinum..

I just looked it up and currently worldwide 'production' of platinum is a staggering low, only about 200 tons a year.

Because of its terrestrial rarity, there are few large-scale uses for platinum. It has industrial uses as a chemical catalyst in the reduction of alkenes amongst other things (it's the main 'ingredient' in a car's catalytic converter, which apparently accounts for the largest portion of the global production). As a catalyst, it is not needed in large quantities, and isn't consumed (although catalysts can be 'poisoned' by chemical impurities in the reaction mix, requiring them to be periodically removed and re-purified). It has the 'ooh-shiny' factor associated with rare metals and brightly coloured minerals that makes it valuable for jewellery. There are a handful of other industrial and medical uses (cis-platin is a platinum containing chemotherapy drug).

What effect would a 90 million tonne glut in the worldwide market have? Firstly, it would piss off all those people who thought they were being clever by investing in platinum. A bunch of people would find their expensive wedding rings were suddenly worth no more than something made of base metal, and industry would rejoice. Industrial applications that would previously have been considered impractically expensive could be exploited. University chemistry departments and industrial research outfits could buy the metal in bulk and find new uses for it (it is a very efficient catalyst for a number of processes after all). Platinum-based alloys would become financially practical; these may have interesting chemical or physical properties, such as superconductivity.

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UK.gov will appeal against DRIPA-busting verdict, says minister

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Re: Too little, too late .......and now flogging a dead duck horse

I was about to say that your comment made no sense, and ask whether you are amanfromMars, then I looked again...

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Re: hmmm,,,

You seem to have been cut off mid sentence there...

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Re: Hmmm....

@Aristotle's Horse, you're absolutely right.

in principle, there is no problem in the police and security services having the ability to monitor those who are suspected of a crime, subject the approval and oversight of the judiciary. This oversight is a vital safeguard in a true democracy.

The involvement of the judicial branch is a measure to prevent abuse of those powers by 'bad actors', within the police or government. it is not reasonable to presume that without such safeguards, these powers will always be used correctly, and history would indicate that they will be abused.

Even though the involvement of the courts would most likely be a 'rubber-stamp', it would mean a record of the request is kept (although this may remain secret for a number of years as national security requires). Furthermore, such 'rubber-stamping' is absolutely not the job of a politician (i.e. the Home Secretary), as there is a clear conflict of interest in cases where investigations may have a political element.

Note that the existence of such powers is in itself not a problem, if they are used correctly. On the one hand, we have the fundamental human right to privacy, but on the other, we have the rule of law, and the need to prevent criminality. This leads to the sensible conclusion that intrusive surveillance should be used only to combat crime (which includes terrorism), and not to watch the populus as a whole. This should require reasonable suspicion, so that it is not applied inappropriately, limitations so that it is not over-reaching, and oversight, so that the results can be evaluated independently to establish whether the surveillance was justified in the first place, to check any possible pattern of abuse. None of these prerequisites needs to be onerous - as I said, it is a simple matter of rubber-stamping and recording.

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High Court smacks down 'emergency' UK spy bill as UNLAWFUL

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Re: Called it :)

Given that limits and oversight were the main problems with this legislation in the first place, if these are added by regulations, this may do a lot to allay the fears that this legislation could be misused as a tool of oppression. The main issue, as I see it, is the current lack of judicial oversight, which is an absolute necessity in any real democracy.

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Please tell me that this half-witted attempt at Animal Farm is invalidated in its entirety by the ruling?

That's the wrong Orwell novel I'm afraid. Animal Farm is an allegory about a socialist revolutionary party becoming the same as the autocracy it replaces. The one about state control and surveillance, and the crushing of privacy and individuality is Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Those in power in the Tory Party (and the civil servants behind the scenes that keep pushing for this kind of legislation) should make sure they read the book in its entirety - the inevitable conclusion is not only that such state power crushes its citizens, but that it also does so unto those in power.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

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Re: Called it :)

If the legislation is unlawful does that mean prosecutions made under it are now also unlawful and subject to appeal, or maybe even automatic overturn?

I'm not sure it's so much a law that prosecutions might be made under, rather than a law that allows The Powers That Be to do things that they might otherwise be prosecuted for doing, or at least be under proper lawful scrutiny from the judiciary while they are doing those things...

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Re: Called it :)

They may try to rush something through, but like now abandoned repeal of the fox hunting ban, and the proposed scrapping of the Human Rights Act, they will find that there is plenty of resistance from the SNP (who will certainly be opposed), Tory back-benchers (many of whom are not nearly as right-wing as the front bench), and the Labour party.

If they do manage to get past that level of opposition, there's the matter of public opinion. After the budget, there's already a growing sense of betrayal and distrust from many of those who voted for them. Trying to force something like this through will further damage their already tarnished public image.

Then there's the House of Lords. I doubt they'll be able to push it through as 'emergency legislation' this time without proper debate in the second house. Say what you like about the fairness of having hereditary peers, but as an unelected body, they don't have the same concerns of electioneering, or even party loyalty, to worry about, and any bill could meet tough resistance here.

The ham-faced boy and his party weren't expecting to get an overall majority in this parliament, and didn't plan for it. They're now having to clear up their own mess, with nobody else to share the blame with. They may find it harder going than they planned. Expect more of their election promises to vanish under the fiery glare of scrutiny...

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