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UK Government Wants To Bypass Data Protection Act 262

Posted by kdawson
from the you-have-none dept.
rar42 writes "Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, currently being debated by the UK Parliament, would allow any Minister by order to take from anywhere any information gathered for one purpose, and use it for any other purpose. Personal information arbitrarily used without consent or even knowledge: the very opposite of 'Data Protection.' An 'Information Sharing Order', as defined in Clause 152, would permit personal information to be trafficked and abused, not only all across government and the public sector — it would also reach into the private sector. And it would even allow transfer of information across international borders. NO2ID has launched a Facebook group to challenge this threat to data protection."
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UK Government Wants To Bypass Data Protection Act

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  • Re:A facebook group? (Score:4, Informative)

    by owlnation (858981) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:11PM (#27047279)
    True. Protesting on Facebook works on Facebook -- hence the Facebook protests that occur every other week about some trivial change to something on the site.

    No2ID have the right idea. But... they really, really need to get their PR machine working. There's next to nothing ever mentioned about them anywhere. They need to be organizing much more high profile stuff. They need to be getting in the press regularly and frequently.

    Having a Facebook group is fine, but it will achieve nothing by itself. Get it together people, because you do have a lot of support, you just need to channel it much, much better than you are currently doing.
  • Re:And we care why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by andy_t_roo (912592) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:26PM (#27047335)

    compressed data can be "trivially" returned to the original without any extra knowledge (other than the details of the compressions scheme) encrypted data, even with complete knowledge of the mathematical transform done, can't be undone without finding the extra info somehow. (also compressed data is basically always smaller, encrypted data is usually the same size, plus a header.

    It is good practice to use both, so that breaking the encryption on a low entropy message is much harder (as it'll be compressed to a short, high entropy burst, and so no assumptions about "weak messages" can be made).

    If you use an obscure compression method, then to automated filters there wouldn't be a difference.

  • Re:Terrifying! (Score:5, Informative)

    by orielbean (936271) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:26PM (#27047341)

    Yes, he fought on the side of communists, (Russian and International) as well as anarchists during the Spanish Civil War. Everyone who read 1984 and understood its message should also read Homage to Catalonia, his factual account of the Civil War. He knew that you could take the horrible tools of repression and what they might look like if machined in England.

  • Re:A facebook group? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:56PM (#27047483)

    No2ID have the right idea. But... they really, really need to get their PR machine working. [...] They need to be organizing much more high profile stuff. They need to be getting in the press regularly and frequently.

    I don't know which press you've been reading, but NO2ID have been mentioned in just about every article on anything related to this subject that I've seen for the past several years. I'd guess only Liberty manage to attract more coverage opposing these issues, and even that might not be true any more.

  • Re:And we care why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:08PM (#27047549)

    That only works until the mere presence of encryption (or any dataset that merely appears to be encrypted) is criminalized to a high degree.

    Failing to provide any encryption key they think you have is already a criminal offence, potentially resulting in up to two years in jail, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

  • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:15AM (#27048979)

    The government can only rule as long as a majority of the house of commons support them. In the back-bench revolts you mention, Tony Blair survived due to
    1) having a HUGE majority, so able to weather a large number of dissenters
    2) support from the opposition parties, when the legislation was one they rather liked.

    The upper house can make passing bad legislation very painful and drawn out indeed, though not block it altogether.

    Finally, the UK government does not control the military; the Crown is nominal head of the armed forces, and the government has to effectively ask permission to use them.

    The government is not a dictatorship, but it is a parliamentary democracy heavily weighted away from balanced or hung parliaments. The government of the day does have very wide ranging powers indeed, as long as parliament back them. The next government can of course reverse the lot if they choose.

    A constitution is only worth the weight the government itself puts in it. How effective has the US constitution been at preventing waterboarding, or stopping illegal wiretaps? Plus all the wrangling over interpreting the wording. It's a nice idea, but in the end of the day there's very few limits that are actually effective.

  • Re:Terrifying! (Score:5, Informative)

    by kohaku (797652) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:46AM (#27049107)
    Phillip Pullman also did a great piece [littlemanwhatnow.com] in the Times related to, although not specifically about, this recently. Oddly, it got pulled by the Times with no explanation. I wonder why?
  • Re:Terrifying! (Score:3, Informative)

    by damburger (981828) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:37AM (#27049567)
    Not quite accurate; Orwell fought for a Trotskyist faction called POUM - he fought on the front line with them and also engaged in military action in conjunction with anarchists, and then ended up fighting Stalinists on the streets of Barcelona. He was genuinely supportive of the social revolution in Catalonia at the time and was certainly not fighting for contemporary liberal democracy.
  • by pjt33 (739471) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:54AM (#27049647)

    No, we elected the current Parliament. The government is elected by a constituency of one, the Prime Minister, who is also elected by a constituency of one, the Queen, who takes into account the party distribution within Parliament.

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