Author Archives: James Baker

Opinion: We should be ashamed of these emergency surveillance powers

Fingers typing at keyboardIn April the European Court of Justice ruled that the UK’s regime of mass data retention was incompatible with the treaty on fundamental rights, particularly with article 8 that stipulates the right to private and family life, right to protection of personal data and the right to freedom of expression. This was a major victory for many Liberals, civil liberties advocates and privacy campaigners who have fought against the widespread blanket retention of innocent and law-abiding citizen’s data.

The ruling set out 10 principles that new legislation should adhere …

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Opinion: The case for increased surveillance hasn’t been made

At the heart of the draft Communications Bill is a drive to make it easier for a range of officials to access information about people’s communications.  The Home Office maintains that officals need this push-button surveillance in order to help fight emotive crimes such as terrorism and paedophiles.

Despite widespread criticisms of the bill put forward by the Home Office to achieve those ends, most politicians appear to be uncritically accepting their underlying premise – that officials need to be granted more powers to snoop on citizens. Just take for instace Clegg’s statement on the bill:
“They were very clear that …

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The Independent View: Selling our NHS data is not putting us in control of our health records

Back in 2010 there was a wave of optimism amongst civil liberties campaigners, especially those of us concerned with protecting privacy from an over-bearing database state. Not only did the coalition agreement set out a promise to scrap ID cards and its associated population register, there were other promises too: “We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason” and then on page 25 of the coalition agreement the statement that “We will put patients in charge of making decisions about their care, including control of their health records”.

In our briefing document ‘Privacy Under Threat’ …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged and | 25 Comments

The Independent View: The bigger picture on privacy

Amongst the frenzy of the phone hacking scandal Philip Virgo has recalled operation Motorman. This investigation by the Information Commissioner and follow-up report What Price Privacy Now studies and provides details of the illegal trade in personal private information. Rather than being limited to the phone hacking scandal, the report suggests this trade was widespread between newspapers, private investigators and corrupt officials.

This report was presented to the previous government that failed to act upon it and halt the illegal trade in personal information. It is with unfortunate irony that members of that previous government including Lord Prescott …

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The Independent View: action is needed to keep census data confidential

So far Lib Dem voice has seen two opposing points of view on the census, one from Merlene Emerson who explains why she believes the census is important, and another from Simon Beard who explains why as a Quaker he will be objecting to it on the moral grounds of Lockheed Martin’s involvement.

NO2ID appreciates why some people have concerns regarding the involvement of an arms company in the census. However as a single issue campaign our concern is with the immediate privacy threat the census poses to everyone. We have therefore taken it upon …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged , , and | 14 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Pettinger 25th Jul - 11:27am
    Today's GDP figures are testimony to the hard work and determination of businesses and employees. Britain's sluggish productivity growth - which I note the SLF...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 25th Jul - 11:21am
    @Charles Rothwell25th Jul '14 - 11:14am - Excellent points Charles.
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 25th Jul - 11:19am
    @ peter tyzack25th Jul '14 - 9:56am " it is depressing how people take words and give them other meanings to suit their own distorted...
  • User AvatarCharles Rothwell 25th Jul - 11:14am
    Dav How I envy you your omniscience/ability to speak for the whole of England and the entire UK. Speaking as someone living in most of...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 25th Jul - 11:13am
    Will, I refuse to accept that our policy was ever to be reckless with the economy. We have spilt blood for this and we deserve...
  • User AvatarCharles Rothwell 25th Jul - 10:59am
    The basic problem in electoral and social terms remains, however, that the benefits are not being spread equitably in geographical and social/demographic terms and that...