CC all your email to Jacqui Smith Day

The Government have plans to start a massive database recording every phone call you make, every email you send, and every text you remove the vowels from.  They have named this bizarre plan the Interception Modernisation Programme, which hardly sounds reassuring, and is still more concerning as the acronym IMP.

But just as the plan to exempt MPs from the FOI bill spurred an impressive new generation of campaigning via Twitter, the big mad database plan has prompted some novel forms of protest.

“CC your email to Jacqui Smith Day” is a group and a fan page on Facebook that has spilled out onto the wider internet.  The premise is deliciously simple, and the plan is simply on a named day, copy all your email to Jacqui Smith’s Home Office email address.  “If she wants to know what we’re saying, let’s show her,” is the theory behind the move.

As civil disobedience goes, I think it’s an excellent idea.  It’s time limited.  It’s legal.  The reason for doing it is clearly linked to the measures being protested about. There are already over 7,000 people signed up to the group on Facebook, so if we all CC only one email during the day, we will take up serious space in Ms Smith’s inbox.  But the effect will be no more serious than to cripple an email account for a day – and will be reasonably easy for technical staff at the Home Office to circumvent.  That said, it will still make a serious point in a light-hearted way.

The plan is not for everyone, of course.  It would probably not be a good idea for Lib Dem staff to reveal party confidential information to the Home Secretary, for starters.  

But we got the Government to back off the FOI plans just by tweeting about it.  Maybe we can get them to give up their big mad database plans with just a few emails!

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This entry was posted in Big mad database and Online politics.
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2 Comments

  • Chris Stanbra 4th Feb '09 - 11:54pm

    How dumb am I? I was halfway through Alex’s third paragraph and still wondering who “Jacqui Smith Day” was. Great idea though.

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