back to article Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

Nick Clegg has been warned that his opposition to the controversial Communications Data Bill could leave Britain "at risk" after a soldier was beheaded in Woolwich, London. The deputy prime minister is coming under increased pressure to rethink his stance on the draft law, dubbed the Snoopers' Charter. The bill, if passed by …

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Re: The ones who should be monitored

Yes. Hats off to the French or even burkhas.

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Re: The ones who should be monitored

Does it strike you at all odd that when the PIRA, Continuity IRA, the Real IRA, the Low Fat IRA, the ‘I Can’t believe it’s not the IRA’, the IRA vegan society or whatever kills a British solider or PSNI officer its we call them ‘Dissident Republicans’ and blame social aspects, British past actions and lack of cross community projects

but when a Muslim carries out an attack people blame Islam and start talking about getting rid of ‘those who do not belong’ (Read- brown people).

I can’t remember ever seeing anything about sending Catholics back to where they came from.

Unless I misjudged you and you do refer to Dissident Republicans as “Christian extremists”…

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Re: The ones who should be monitored

I'm not convinced you'll be missed.

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Re: The ones who should be monitored

@Maharg - actually, at the time of the IRA campaigns in England I seem to remember there was an awful lot of hostility to Irish people/Catholics there, along the lines of 'why don't they all go back to Ireland'

Agree that it does seem to be an excuse for Daily Fail readers to call for the deportation of anyone answering to the name of Johny Foreigner (even if they were born in Lambeth/Bradford/Cardiff/Glasgow)

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Angel

Re: The ones who should be monitored

...I can’t remember ever seeing anything about sending Catholics back to where they came from...

Um... The Garden of Eden?

(Pause for obligatory Joni Mitchell Woodstock riff....)

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@Daggersedge

Actually, having read your post I can see the argument for monitoring peoples communications...

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Re: The ones who should be monitored

That’s true, I get told by my dad (an Irishman) about the signs on B&B houses in the 60s & 70s, “No Blacks, No Irish No Dogs” , but you kind of hope we have moved on from that.

My point was about attacks in recent times, although reading back I could have made that more clear

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MJI
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Re: The ones who should be monitored

Hmm I did read that one was a recent convert, and it looks like proper Muslims are very upset at what he did in their religions name.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irish hostility

Told this about a work mate of my Dads.

Was in pub having a drink.

Irish person spouting off about how good the bombings were.

Was told to shut up.

Did not shut up.

Got thumped, 1 hit knocked out.

Police let Dads work mate off.

Ambulance men dropped the stretcher.

What was funny was that another workmate was irish and would have done the same thumping, he was also my source of quality Irish jokes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irish hostility

At least the Irish were polite and gave us a ring before the bombs...

Whats the fastest game in the world? Pass the Parcel in Belfast pub

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Unhappy

Re: The ones who should be monitored

You summarised how I feel.

But it is not just Britain who did it, it is the entire western world.

Wait until the believers achieve 20% of the population on any western country.

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Anonymous Coward

brownie point scoring

why are politicians so depressingly predictable?

Dear Mr Reid,

When you draft your snooping bill don't forget, for Christ's sake, to cover tracking all the pigeons, 'cause, you know, them terrorists are crafty bastards, will go to ANY lengths to stay under your gazillion £££ radar.

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The police already knew about these guys

And from the looks of things, not a lot happened.

So what was the point in giving the police the powers they already have?

It seems that either

1) the police knew about them, but had no resources to put to actually making use of the data they had.

2) the police knew about them, but chose to do nothing

3) The more stringent powers that the police could call into play here were not of any actual use?

After all, if they know about someone and they feel there is a risk then they can target whatever they want at them, this new charter being primarily the ability to make investigations look prettier in court after the fact.

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Re: The police already knew about these guys

Simple. If they don't use the powers they have, they can claim they don't work and that they need more powers.

All increasing surveillance does is force people into using strong encryption which makes the situation worse.

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Re: The police already knew about these guys

4. The police knew about them, but they didn't have any evidence

The way the law works is that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Just maybe communications data might have provided that evidence?

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Re: The police already knew about these guys

.....Unless you are guilty of breaking a law in another country that you haven't actually physically stepped foot in - and then it's guilty until proven innocent - and you are shipped off to said country to be detained until trial.

- or -

The media decides you are guilty....

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Re: The police already knew about these guys

Titus Technophobe wrote:

"4. The police knew about them, but they didn't have any evidence

Errm yes, and how do you think the police go about collecting evidence?

Yep, they apply for a court order when they have reasonable suspicion that someone is up to no good for such things as wiretaps and search warrants.

These pieces of filth were known to UK security forces and could have (should have?) been under surveillance anyway.

It it, frankly, disgusting, that Reid, at al are using this incident to introduce this liberty eroding scheme. It just says to the terrorist scum: "yep, we're scared, you're winning". We should be sticking our stiff little fingers up to these cretinous pieces of filth and carrying on as normal.

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Re: The police already knew about these guys - too many possibilities, too few resources

Or

5) MI5 knew about them, but judged them to be low-level background noise, two of several thousand. There are higher priority targets, and not enough resources to keep every person who attracts MI5's attention under surveillance.

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Re: The police already knew about these guys

John Reid serves on the board of G4S, he stands to do very well from more security legislation.

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Or...

...educate people that one sky fairy is no better than another sky fairy because their (probably) is no sky fairy at all.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure that would do the trick (although I am all for it for its own sake, obviously).

This behaviour could just as easily be produced from perceived political or ethnic concerns - basically anything that can be manipulated into an 'us v them' scenario where dramatic action allows a fantasist to see himself as an adored hero (or unjustly reviled hero or feared tyrant or whatever).

Why they can't indulge this side of their nature by playing some fantasy role playing game like us normal people I don't know . . .

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Re: The BigYin Re: Or...

"....one sky fairy is no better than another sky fairy....." All for that, but with the added proivso that those that refuse to keep their skyfairy superiority views to themselves get locked up, and those that use their skyfairy beliefs to excuse violence be locked up for life in a loony bin. Works for Christian nutters as well as the Islamic variety. If people need religion as a crutch to get them through life then that's their business, just as long as they keep it their own business and don't start making demands on others.

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Anonymous Coward

To Quote Yasser Arafat

"Having a war about religion is like having a fight over who's got the best imaginary friend."

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MJI
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Re: Or...

All the sky fairies are actually the same sky fairy

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Knew it...

Right from the moment the incident happened I was unhappy with the rapid "terrorist" labeling.

I thought Ms May will be out saying "We warned you" any moment now.

Resurrecting the snoopers charter would be pointless, they'd already snooped on at least one of the "men" involved and not deemed him a threat.

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Anonymous Coward

Control Doesn't Equal Safety

Even panopticons aren't safe. One of the suspects may have been radicalised in prison & isn't prison meant to be a monitored environment? Prisoners can get access to drugs despite anti-smuggling measures; prisoners attack each other & can make weapons from everyday objects despite high security. So you're telling me we could prevent this sort of attack with communications data? I doubt it would've made any difference.

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Linux

It's sick and disgraceful that the politicians are using this squaddie's death as an excuse to further push the unwanted snooping charters they have been proposing for the past few years.

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Anonymous Coward

I can guarantee that there is an American/Israeli data mining solution available for the right price. A non-exec directorship may also become available for aspiring lobbyists. Budget increased, jobs created, terrorism problem solved.

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Anonymous Coward

The London killing cannot ever be used as an excuse to wiretap me!

I'm not a terrorist, I don't believe in these fair tales of Alla or God and Jesus.

Seems to me we should be watching those who are not "British" AND who have a belief in fairy tales! or are stupid enough to believe a "preacher/bullshitter".

Bloody religion breeds nothing but hatred! Let’s eradicate this scourge on humanity!

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Anonymous Coward

@Obviously!

"The London killing cannot ever be used as an excuse to wiretap me!

I'm not a terrorist, I don't believe in these fair tales of Alla or God and Jesus.

Seems to me we should be watching those who are not "British" AND who have a belief in fairy tales! or are stupid enough to believe a "preacher/bullshitter".

Bloody religion breeds nothing but hatred! Let’s eradicate this scourge on humanity!"

Stated in calm and hate-less language. If they didnt kill each other over religion it would be some other poor reasoning. Maybe colour, sex or hat. You cant eradicate stupidity, you have to try and educate as many people as possible.

But if we had an educated people we wouldnt have some idiot calling to wiretap everyone because a couple of nutters already under police surveillance decide to go kill someone.

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Stop

Re: AC Re: @Obviously!

".....But if we had an educated people......" There is this liberal Western failing that seems to think all Islamists are poorly educated and have been "deceived", and that all we have to do is talk nicely to Islamists and they can all be convinced to be good little citizens. This flies in the face of evidence that not only are they deadset against any form of reasoning, but that many of them are not only well-educated but also lived comfortable lives before they decided they wanted to be jihadis (bin Laden, Civil Engineer and multi-millionaire from billionaire Saudi family; Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Master Surgeon for the Egyptian Army, came from a well-off background; Abu Zubaydah, Computer Science grad, left Saudi by choice to "work" in the West Bank; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, studied Mechanical Engineering in the States (!), came from a rich Kuwaiti background; Mohamed Atta, Engineer and Architect, was from a well-off family and his father was a lawyer, and was studying in Germany when he went off the rails; Anjem Choudry, former solictor, born in the UK and educated here). Whilst I'm sure the imams are not giving them a balanced view in their sermons, the jihadis CHOOSE to be jihadis despite their education and knowledge of the West, and that once they become so very, very few can overcome their Islamisation.

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FAIL

Re: Re: AC @Obviously!

Ooh, look - down votes without any counter. Denial won't stop terrorist attacks by Islamists, you know. Oh, I see the problem is you don't want to see.

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According to the (admittedly unreliable tabloid) press, the perpitrator of the atrocity in London was already known to the intelligence agencies. They just didn't take the threat he represented seriously enough.

Aside from being morally bankrupt and the legitimate concerns over powers introduced to fight terrorism being used to hound people who post explicit fanfiction or make racist jokes on Twitter, data mining pretty much everybody's communications would just generate a vast amount of "white noise" which could only make potential threats even harder to detect.

And at the end of the day, there's no amount of snooping that could really protect you from random violent acts perpitrated by a psycho with a meat cleaver under his jacket. But such events are so rare anyway that there's little sense worrying about it.

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Old lawyers saying...

"Hard cases make bad law."

Layman's translation; if you base your laws on the worst behaviour possible it is a poor basis for a general law which would cover a wider range of less extreme cases. In other words, a general law is better drafted for the average circumstance as this will be more common.

So don't use this vicious and unusual crime to pass legislation that will creep into general surveillance for many purposes.

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Big Brother

I told you so. Now I have to surveil you. For you own good.

Reid, the former Labour home secretary, said the bill was a crucial weapon against terrorists and warned that it would take "some huge tragedy" for Britons to see the need for legislation.

Rule #1 of bureaucracy: Never let a good crisis go to waste

Old' Orwell warned us about those guys ... "when they strike, they strike hard."

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Anonymous Coward

like others on here I was disheartened when this pair of idiots were branded terrorists.

My first thoughts as to the reason behind it was not about the legislation that some politicians are trying to get pushed through but rather "How long before they "discover" links to $evil_state_of_the_day and try to use it as justification for action against $evil_state_of_the_day"

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Anonymous Coward

We don't need a snoopers charter

We already know who these people are. What we need to do is start rounding up religious extremists.

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Re: We don't need a snoopers charter

First they came for the religious extremists, but I did not speak out because I was not a religious extremist.

Then they came for the murderers, but I did not speak out because I was not a murderer.

Then they came for me. Fortunately them rounding other people up had bought me enough time to escape.

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Re: We don't need a snoopers charter

"Then they came for me. Fortunately them rounding other people up had bought me enough time to escape."

A very good point.

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WTF?

WTF???

Are they mad?

I have no problem with our police being able to monitor our communication, BUT only after a court order has been obtained, it is the lack of need for a court order I am against!

And this incident would NOT have been stopped if the snoopers charter was in place...

Why? Because they were 'known' to intelligence services already, so why were they not being monitored? why had they not obtained court orders to monitor their phones, etc?

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Re: WTF???

"Why? Because they were 'known' to intelligence services already, so why were they not being monitored? why had they not obtained court orders to monitor their phones, etc?"

On a yearly basis roughly half a million intercept warrants are applied for and granted to security services, police and other agencies. So who is to say that the Woolwich murderers, who were already known to the security people, were not under surveillance?

Even so, judgements have to be made about who requires 24 hour observation and who falls into the category of "religious nutter". Imagine the resources needed to monitor the UK's internet population and you might begin to see why wee Johnny Reid and his buddies at G4S (don't laugh) are anxious to get their hands on some nice fat government contracts.

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Holmes

Human rights? Pfff....

Here is how I see it.

Everyone has human rights and we should respect that. I am talking real rights, not the "my 50 inch TV right" kind. In my opinion if you wilfully with planned intent murder someone then you should lose your human rights on the basis that you denied someone else theirs (the right to live i suppose)

These two should not be executed/jailed but rather when they come out of hospital make them work the rest of their lives in a hard labour camp to pay for their crimes. Crush rocks till their days end.

Chances are though they will go to the hotel reception (court) and then get sent to their fancy hotel room (jail). And for all those categorising based on religion, do not forget that every religion has extremists and all extremists should burn equally.

I also wholly agree that snooping powers will have done nothing to stop this. The first thing to happen when everyone "knows" they are being snooped on is encrypted communications will become so commonplace that the law effectively becomes useless.

Sir

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Re: Human rights? Pfff....

encrypted communications are illegal. if you encrypt something then the law demands you give them the key. If you don't give them the key you've broken the law.

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Re: Human rights? Pfff....

That's the problem, while they can ask for the key, if you have been planning something nasty, why would you give it?

Also if they are monitoring communications, they can't ask for the key..

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Big Brother

Re: Human rights? Pfff....

"I also wholly agree that snooping powers will have done nothing to stop this. "

What makes you think that is its purpose?

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I had quite forgotten

Just how unpleasant and individual John Reid is. So his intervention has done one good thing.

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With this story it makes one wonder who engineered this tragic attack.

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Unhappy

This one isn't going away

We (and I mean this collectively) are one of the most surveilled states in the world already. Surely it would be better to increase the numbers of MI5 officers who would then be able to maintain surveillance on "persons of interest", rather than decide happily to monitor the entire electronic spectrum (exaggerating for effect) on the off-chance of finding something? However, we seem to have a group of people in politics (supported by some sections of the media) who really want to abrogate to the state the sort of rights that many totalitarian (carefully avoiding Goodwin's Law) regimes would be envious of.

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Re: This one isn't going away

we could just declare everyone in the country is now an MI5 officer. That way everyone will be under MI5 observation. Any terrorists who kill people will be in breach of their employment contract and could be given a disciplinary warning.

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Black Helicopters

Re: This one isn't going away

...Surely it would be better to increase the numbers of MI5 officers who would then be able to maintain surveillance on "persons of interest", rather than decide happily to monitor the entire electronic spectrum (exaggerating for effect) on the off-chance of finding something? ...

They don't want that. And they really don't have a great interest in monitoring everyone in the UK either. What would be the point?

Basically, what they want is to be able to do anything they like, without any barriers, checks or controls. The easiest way to achieve this is to put through a law saying that they can snoop on anyone, and then there is no need to produce a reason every time they want to snoop on a person they think might be dodgy.

After that law, they'll want a law saying that they can pick up and hold anyone they want without charge... Oh, sorry - I forgot - they already did that....

So long as you have done nothing wrong, or don't look as if you're going to do anything wrong, or don't get accidentally confused with someone who might possibly be looking as if they might do something wrong, you are quite safe....

(N.B.) The words 'Something Wrong' are generally defined to mean anything that a person in authority thinks should be stopped from happening...

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