back to article UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

The UK’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the government’s unfettered slurping of citizens’ data broke the law. In a judgment handed down this morning, judges backed a challenge brought by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson in a long-running battle against state surveillance rules. These laws allow for ISPs and telcos to retain …

  1. Richard Wharram

    Watson, not Corbyn

    Not at all surprised that this has come from the 'centrist' side of the Labour party rather than its left-wing who tend to admire authoritarian regimes as long as they aren't allied with 'the west'.

    Watson is dismissed as a Blairite these days which is basically anyone not in Momentum. He was actually a Brownite though in the Blair days.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Watson, not Corbyn

      It used to be Watson and Davis. Now it is just Watson. Quite funny how being in power suddenly re-adjusts your moral compass.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Watson, not Corbyn

        It used to be Watson and Davis. Now it is just Watson. Quite funny how being in power suddenly re-adjusts your moral compass.

        It's the doctrine of Cabinet collective responsibility. In theory the Cabinet are united on everything they do(*) so if DD(**) continued with the law suit this would mean that by the magic thinking of collective responsibility the government would be taking action against their own legislation. Daft, but probably no dafter than a man in black tights getting a door slammed in his face or other parliamentary customs.

        (*) Stop giggling at the back. And the front. And everywhere else.

        (**) Make your own tit joke.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Watson, not Corbyn

          "Make your own tit joke."

          An Israeli colleague introduced himself as "David" - then joked that in the Hebrew alphabet that looks like "TIT" (D-V-D - without any vowel pointings)

    2. wolfetone Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Watson, not Corbyn

      "Not at all surprised that this has come from the 'centrist' side of the Labour party rather than its left-wing who tend to admire authoritarian regimes as long as they aren't allied with 'the west'."

      Funny that, because Corbyn generally votes against the introduction of such "authoritarian" tactics such as the National ID card system. Tom Watson though voted consistently to introduce the National ID card system.

      "Watson is dismissed as a Blairite these days which is basically anyone not in Momentum. He was actually a Brownite though in the Blair days."

      Watson has been instrumental in rocking the boat with other leaders such as Milliband, Blair and Corbyn. The fact he's tried, twice, to bring down Corbyn and twice failed (the second time increasing Corbyn's majority) speaks volumes for his judgement and political prowess. I wouldn't trust him to look after a pint of milk.

      But don't let the truth get in the way of making you feel better.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Watson, not Corbyn

        Corbyn opposed plenty when Labour were in power. Now, not so much...

        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/snoopers-charter-investigatory-powers-bill-labour-abstain-shami-chakrabarti-jeremy-corbyn-diane-a7355301.html

        See also Brexit.

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Watson, not Corbyn

      Even more funny if you could understand how idiotic this either or, two party system keeps you stupid. Like drunken sailors, I have some experience, one step left and one step right, never achieving anything but one step left or one step right. Binary idiocy. Oh my good how idiotic you are.

      Is it you, or just about the two idiots who run you, one step left and one step right.

  2. unwarranted triumphalism

    > deputy Labour leader Tom Watson

    Now we know who to blame the next time there is a terrorist attack that could have been stopped had we had intel on those planning it beforehand.

    1. Andrew 60

      After almost every terrorist attack it is normally disclosed that the perpetrators were already known to the security services. So there would have been absolutely no problem in going to a court and getting a warrant.

      For the cases where they are not know, and thus could not get a warrant, then how do you think unfettered access to data would help? They are clearly so overloaded at the moment that they cannot even keep up with legitimate but low priority targets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can't mean me? Or him, or them over there? What about the rest of the entire UK population?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Now we know who to blame the next time there is a terrorist attack that could have been stopped had we had intel on those planning it beforehand.

      God, Jesus or Allah? Take your pick.

      People keep saying they did it for those 3, so maybe we should haul their arses into court.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism
      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "People keep saying they did it for those 3, so maybe we should haul their arses into court."

        I foresee quite a long and heated discussion over how many arses "they" actually possess between them. Quite a large number of people died over the course of the first millenium AD trying to settle that one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And let no the atheists forget eugenics, Stalin, Hitler and Pot all of whom did not invoke a deity to dispatch millions.....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Stalin, Hitler and Pot all of whom did not invoke a deity to dispatch millions....."

            Stalin learned how to control groups of people when he trained as a priest. All those examples were "leader worship" cults - which is basically the same modus operandi as organised hierarchical religions.

          2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            "And let no the atheists forget..."

            The distinction between atrocities carried out by atheists and those carried out by theists is that atheists did not carry out their atrocities in the name of atheism. Theists, however, carry out atrocities in the name of their religion, belief or deity.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Quite funny how being in power suddenly re-adjusts your moral compass."

    What makes you think Davis is in power?

    With JRM already drawing up his charge sheet for the epic round of finger pointing and blame assignment that will happen when Brexit "completes" and people wake up to what an utter waste of time it was* for the UK.

    *Although pretty good for D. Trump, V. Putin and R. Murdoch, who all backed it to the hilt.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A millennial friend was once a great admirer of Boris Johnson and David Davis - arguing that behind their buffoon facades lay intelligent minds. Since BREXIT started he has decided he was totally wrong.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      What's the quote?

      "Better be silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and prove everyone right"?

      Words to that effect, anyway. Think it fits here...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "buffoon"

      In Swedish the similar sounding word is "byfåne". It is a concatenation of "by" = "village" - and "fåne" = "idiot".

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: "by" = "village"

        And this is why the names of many places in England that were formerly occupied by Vikings end in by - Selby, Ashby, Corby, etc.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      - arguing that behind their buffoon facades lay intelligent minds. Since BREXIT started he has decided he was totally wrong.

      Why ? they are both going to do very well out of it.

      For Boris it's the best chance of a leadership bid. For Davis it will involve lots of nice directorships as each bank tries to negotiate their own post-brexit political deal

  5. dephormation.org.uk
    Unhappy

    An endless charade

    I have come to understand the Home Office and UK Judiciary (for they are not independent, whatever they might claim) strategy is a 'long game' of endless delay & obstruction.

    Any contrary opinion with which they disagree is deemed "unclear".

    While the current law is being challenged, a new law that is different is enacted... and the cycle starts again. RIPA > DRIPA > IPA >..

    And Brexit? That neatly eliminate the risk of EU enforcement action.

    In effect, unlawful UK mass surveillance carries on regardless.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: An endless charade

      "for they are not independent, whatever they might claim"

      You're saying that, despite what the article says, the judgement didn't put the skids under DRIPA.

      The HO knows full well that what it's trying to do can't possibly be legal unless they explicitly repeal what's left of Magna Carta. They know that it'll be stricken down whenever it gets to court. So they just keep dragging a new variation out of the filing cabinet and putting it before Parliament. In due course it'll be sent to the bin and yet another one's dragged out.

      Why do you think one of BigBrother Watch's points of contention is that the body set up to authorise snooping isn't judicial? Why do think the govt. tried not to go to the Supreme Court over the process of triggering Article 50?

  6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Big Brother

    A pyrrhic victory

    As soon as we are out of the EU, have removed ourselves from ECJ jurisdiction, separated ourselves from the ECHR, the government will be free to do whatever it damn-well pleases; it's not illegal or wrong if we say it's legal and right.

    Yay! Sovereignty!

    :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A pyrrhic victory

      "[...] it's not illegal or wrong if we say it's legal and right."

      In Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass"

      “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

      “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

      “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that's all.”

      I think Boris Johnson and David Davis are Tweedledee and Tweedledum from "Alice in Wonderland". Now Theresa May is the Red Queen - running to stand still.

      1. smudge Silver badge

        Re: A pyrrhic victory

        I'd move Fox into the Tweedledee role, and make Boris Johnson the Jabberwock.

        "The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

        Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

        And burbled as it came! "

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: A pyrrhic victory

      @ Jason Bloomberg

      "Yay! Sovereignty!"

      Interestingly there are some people who dont believe we would get back sovereignty by bringing control of the country back to the UK instead of the EU. Also is the aim to leave all of those institutions or just the EU institutions?

      "it's not illegal or wrong if we say it's legal and right."

      Well that does sum up government. For example the rules are the rules, except for when France broke the rules on its deficit(?). A freedom I am sure the suffering members would like. For example can you imagine wanting your currency to be an international reserve currency but then trying to dictate it can only be cleared within your currency area? Of course we could go to the extreme end of that approach and dictate things that are right, such as how bendy a banana is (another thing some people dont think exists) or what fruit can be in jam. Even when they make an agreement not to use the GBP contribution to bail out their currency they ignore such when they feel like it.

      But you know what the big difference is? There is sweet F-all we can do about the EU, but we can vote for parties in this country! And if we can vote for what we want in this country vs vote for a puppet of the EU then the voter has a hope of getting what they want.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A pyrrhic victory

        "For example the rules are the rules, except for when France broke the rules on its deficit(?)."

        When working in the EEC many years ago - a French colleague explained that "The problem with the British is that when they sign up to something - they believe they then have to obey it".

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: A pyrrhic victory

          Reading The Economist since 1980, I figured that out some time ago. It's become rather depressing of late though.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: A pyrrhic victory

        Pro-Brexiteers talk about trading with other countries as if none of the other countries were in their own trading bloc. None of the other countries have found a need to leave their trading bloc to trade with countries outside it, why should the UK need to leave the EU?

        International agreements require arbitration between two parties. Far better to be in a club where you have some say in the rules about that arbitration than not having any say.

        In the event of a FTA between the US and the UK, I'll let you guess in which country arbitration takes place.

        If that idea is too much and you don't want to lose sovereignty then you could always remodel the UK on North Korea.

      3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: A pyrrhic victory

        " ...such as how bendy a banana is (another thing some people dont think exists)...."

        The commissioners have no problem with straight bananas, it's the crooked ones they don't like so much, but they have never banned them. As Commission Regulation (EC) 2257/94 puts it, bananas must be "free from malformation or abnormal curvature". In the case of "Extra class" bananas, there is no wiggle room, but Class 1 bananas can have "slight defects of shape", and Class 2 bananas can have full-on "defects of shape".

        No attempt is made to define "abnormal curvature" in the case of bananas, which must lead to lots of arguments. Contrast the case of cucumbers (Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1677/88), where Class I and "Extra class" cucumbers are allowed a bend of 10mm per 10cm of length. Class II cucumbers can bend twice as much.

        [Sources]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromyth

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/11/boris-johnson-launches-the-vote-leave-battlebus-in-cornwall

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: A pyrrhic victory

          @ Bernard M. Orwell

          "The commissioners have no problem with straight bananas, it's the crooked ones they don't like so much"

          Apologies for the wording. The shape of a banana being criminalised with (if I remember this right) up to 6 month in jail and/or a 5000Eur fine. Did they keep the cucumber law? I wasnt sure if they binned that one for being too pedantic.

          With laws like this you would think they wernt in crises

  7. BoldMan

    So if it was illegal, who is goign to jail?

    If the previous regulations were illegal, then surely someone should be getting arrested and charges laid for breaking laws?

    1. earl grey Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: So if it was illegal, who is going to jail?

      Don't hold your breath.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: So if it was illegal, who is goign to jail?

      So if it was illegal, who is goign to jail?

      If the previous regulations were illegal, then surely someone should be getting arrested and charges laid for breaking laws?

      If all were truly equal before the law, and the vast majority of the population weren't asleep, yes.

      Like sleeping Dragons, it's best not to wake them though, it usually ends with mountains of bodies.

      Every time the government disappoints the electorate, the iceberg shifts a bit further downhill

    3. SVV Silver badge

      Re: So if it was illegal, who is goign to jail?

      No, no, no you've missed the point completely.....

      The goverment has to break the law in order to catch people who are breaking the law.....and by so doing they discover that they themselves are breaking the law, and therefore argue that they have to be allowed to break the law and spy on themselves, otherwise they wouldn't know that they were breaking the law in the first place.

      Think of it as the legislative equivalent of an infinite loop.

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Pirate

    Don't panic

    "......landmark 2016 ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union, "

    So once we've " taken back control" they can just get on with it. Hooray for Brexit.

    Why no sarcasm icon?

  9. ITnoob

    Thank you to Liberty and everyone else who has been opposing this, unsung heroes all of them. And the general public won't even be aware that this is going on.

  10. Lith

    All that will happen is that they put it back up to three years and make littering and everything above it a crime with a potential sentence of at least 3 years.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019