Tag Archives: database state

Liblink: Paddy Ashdown says Snoopers’ Charter breaches the Coalition Deal

Writing in today’s Times, former leader Paddy Ashdown, a key ally of Nick Clegg, has condemned Government’s proposals to increase internet surveillance and warned that we must not “part company with our principles.”

He wrote:

The Government claims that it will have unfettered access only to “data” (ie, sender, recipient, time and duration) rather than content, so this does not constitute “a communications interception”. That is sophistry.

It is one of our rights as free citizens to talk to whom we wish, when we wish and wherever we wish without the State knowing about it, unless there is good cause for it to

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: 1984 and all that

If you wanted to pick an issue guaranteed to unite the whole party – protecting our civil liberties has to be it. So the last 48 hours have been a frenzy of claim, counterclaim, the candyflossesque spin of internal briefings and Lib Dems across the blogo/twitto/facebooko/forumosphere reaching dangerously apoplectic levels of disquiet.

Mark Pack, in his inimitable unflappable style offered an informative briefing via LDV – taking the optimistic view, reassuring us that “what the Home Office proposes is not the same as what Parliament will legislate. No matter how flawed the initial proposal put to Parliament by Theresa May are, they put the RIPA rules on the table – giving the opportunity to get them changed to meet what a liberal approach should be – as little intrusion as possible, only for the most serious of offences and with rigorous, independently verified safeguards”.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes… Safeguards to control state surveillance

Stories came out yesterday, leaked as ever from some unknown source, which have led to justifiable outrage about proposals to capture all our online communications. We all know that one shouldn’t entirely trust what is in newspapers, especially when the security services are involved and there is a palpable lack of detailed announcements, but liberals everywhere are rightly anxious.

I’m extremely concerned about the extension of state surveillance, and have fought hard to stop it. Since I first got wind of the proposals in 2010, I’ve had a series of meetings with industry experts and others about it. I asked the Prime Minister about it in October 2010 and, while the details remain cloaked, I have some idea of what might be proposed.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 26 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 …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Lib Dems must lead the way in improving scrutiny of council surveillance

Media coverage of the abuses by various councils regarding the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) has been very welcome. Conversely, it has unfortunately meant that (at least from my experience) whenever it is brought up at council, those who dare scrutinise the usage of this law are dismissed as bandwagon-jumpers who simply wish to capitalize on the media orgy against council surveillance.

This is why I brought a motion to Liberal Youth Conference in February that was passed unanimously to make restrictions on the legislation party policy; and Liberal Youth subsequently chose for it to go …

Posted in Big mad database, LDV campaigns, Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

The Independent View: Statebook – knowledge is power

Launching our spoof Statebook website and campaign this bank holiday, we knew we’d be tapping into a strong and growing public unease about digital privacy.

Data leaks, massive government IT projects and ‘data retention’ are creating a sense that things in this area are going in the wrong direction. Perhaps people aren’t aware of all the details – but they know there’s a problem.

Statebook tries to bridge that gap by illustrating the wealth of information the government already holds on you, and how the government wants to get its hands on even more if it can – popularising the …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The database state and the true cost of Labour’s free lunches

During the Unlock Democracy debate at the Convention on Modern Liberty last month, Justice Minister Michael Wills defended the growth of the database state by arguing:

“We’ve heard a lot of about datasharing today. But that datasharing, that so many here today say is an unacceptable intrusion of privacy by the state, can actually help thousands and thousands of children who are eligible for free school meals but don’t get them at the moment… Look, it’s all very well for you to sit here. You’ve probably all had a hot meal in the last week. One

Posted in Big mad database and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

Lib Dems help force Labour data sharing U-turn

A big well done to Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders for what his blog calls his “little victory” in helping to force the Government to drop proposals which would have allowed people’s details to be shared between organisations. The BBC reports:

The Lib Dems said plans for secret inquests in England and Wales were “misguided” and they would continue to oppose any moves which “undermined” the jury system. … They would have allowed ministers to apply for orders to remove data protection restrictions preventing the use of information for secondary purposes in certain circumstances.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw had argued

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Enough is enough

Anyone from any political persuasion can list things this Government has done that annoy them.

Personally, I was annoyed enough to join millions of others on the march against the war in Iraq – now it’s time to hold them to account.

I’m not so sure how I will react if and when I get the orders from the Government to present myself at the interrogation centre in nearby Derby and hand over more personal information than is currently demanded from sex offenders.  I’m not certain I’m ready to join Simon Hughes in jail for refusing an ID card.

I’ve never …

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments
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