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UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws 147

Posted by timothy
from the back-in-line-citizen dept.
beaker_72 (1845996) writes The Guardian reports that the UK government has unveiled plans to introduce emergency surveillance laws into the UK parliament at the beginning of next week. These are aimed at reinforcing the powers of security services in the UK to force service providers to retain records of their customers phone calls and emails. The laws, which have been introduced after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that existing laws invaded individual privacy, will receive cross-party support and so will not be subjected to scrutiny or challenged in Parliament before entering the statute books. But as Tom Watson (Labour backbench MP and one of few dissenting voices) has pointed out, the ECJ ruling was six weeks ago, so why has the government waited until now to railroad something through. Unless of course they don't want it scrutinised too closely.
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UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:13AM (#47423931)

    Sad to say it, but its just true.

    Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini would be very proud of what the UK has become.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Godwin on the first post. This is a record.

      I wish people wouldn't compare present-day UK to what once was real fascist dictatorships. People are not disappearing in the UK, nor there are purges happening where millions of people go poof in the night, and all pictures in Facebook get photoshopped to "airbrush" the people (whom disappeared) out.

      The UK has its issues. However, comparing the PM to Pol Pot may get headlines, but belittles the atrocities that happened in Cambodia.

      Lets me accurate -- this is no

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why do you reference Godwin's Law as if it discredits an argument or proposition. Godwin's Law is merely an observation. It has no bearing on the accuracy of the comparison.

        The German citizens approved of Hitler's actions implicitly as well. That doesn't lend any legitimacy to his actions any more than it lends legitimacy to the UK's today.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's not right to compare the two as if they are already equal, however there have been plenty of warnings from the past. What I take away from "First they came for [undesireables] and I said nothing" is to not let things get that bad in the first place, because once they do the entire world must be moved to set it back.
      • by chihowa (366380) *

        So people disappearing is the line at which you think a government is atrocious? There was more wrong with the dictatorships of the past than just purges. Would a dystopia where everyone is kept locked up in cages, but nobody is missing, not compare to a real fascist dictatorship? This argument people like you keep parroting is like the No True Scotsman argument of bad government.

      • by chihowa (366380) * on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:43AM (#47424589)

        OK, to clarify... disappearances and purges are bad news, but it's not as if these historical dictatorships were all fine and dandy up until the point where people started disappearing. Holding off judgement until something is allowed to fully develop into its inevitable final product is dangerous and naive.

        • by mpe (36238)
          OK, to clarify... disappearances and purges are bad news, but it's not as if these historical dictatorships were all fine and dandy up until the point where people started disappearing.

          Historically the majority of the public may see little wrong even when people are disappearing. Many people appear to have a great deal of faith in both politicians and governments. It can be far easier to believe that the disappeared were somehow to blame.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            Many people appear to have a great deal of faith in both politicians and governments.

            Or little faith in their own ability to fight monsters. Or even little ability to even perceive monstrous as monstrous anymore, having been socialized into believing that the strong should dominate over weak and the only issue in question is the specific form this takes.

            Once you've been conditioned into believing it's just and right you lose your livelihood because it happens to benefit a higher-up, is it really that much

          • by idontgno (624372)

            Indeed. In which case, the "majority of the public" is wrong. [wikipedia.org]

        • by Agripa (139780)

          I like the way John Ross put it:

          A women is confronted by a big, strong, stranger. She does not know what he is planning, and she is cautious. Getting away from him is not possible. They are in a room and he is standing in front of the only way out, or she is in a wheelchair - whatever. Leaving the area is not an option.

          So now he starts to do things she does not like. He asks her for money. She can try to talk him out of it, just like we argue for lower taxes, and maybe it will work. If it does not, a

      • by sabri (584428)

        People are not disappearing in the UK

        David Kelly. [bbc.com].

        Campaign leader Dr Stephen Frost said: "The continuing cover-up of the truth of what happened is a national disgrace and should be of concern to all British citizens."

      • but this is how the citizens of the country have voted for and, thus approved implicitly.

        Um, fuck off.

        It's a cross party vote, moron, which means there's no fucking way you could vote against it. Sure you could send in a protest vote as I did (so I'd kindly thank you not to claim we all voted for this shit), but we all know how much good a protest vote does in practice.

    • by Xest (935314) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:17AM (#47424407)

      I'm torn because whilst things like this sicken me (as a British citizen) I think it's still sensationalist nonsense to claim Britain isn't a free country, god only knows we still don't have quite the limits on free speech of France and Germany. As Western countries go we're still pretty free, and Western countries are still generally freer than most, so it seems a silly stretch to claim Britain isn't a free country. Most things used when citing Britain as not free are FUD made up by people who love to bash Britain, or like a bit of conspiracy theory or reason to bitch and moan in general, for example, claims about CCTV counts that include static traffic cameras that only take photos of people actually speeding - i.e. breaking the law and don't have a capability for constant monitoring, or only log a text response when a particular number plate is detected. Do I like them? no, but it's hardly the constantly filmed bullshit the paranoid conspiracy theorists claim it is. Similarly there's a lot of FUD about RIPA's password clause by people who haven't read the law which explicitly states that police have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone has a key before they can be prosecuted for not handing it over (if you don't believe me Google it - section 53.3 makes the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt that a suspect actually holds the key explicit in law) which is in contradiction to the nonsense about how you can arbitrarily convicted with that as the excuse - you can't, it's never happened, everyone prosecuted to date has been like the plonker in yesterday's news story who incriminated themselves for the simple reason they were actually dickheads.

      But this? this is genuinely fucking embarrassing. This is a genuine what the flying fuck are you thinking politicians? This is a genuine there is something very broken with our country. It's not that we're not still free, we really are, anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit, the problem is that there's a slippery slope that we might slide down to become not free, and that's the real worry. Sometimes slippery slope arguments don't occur making them a fallacy, but sometimes they do, and I'm not willing to accept that risk when the claimed benefit just does not exist - 7/7 still happened, the Boston bombings still happened - blanket data sweeping does not work, terrorist attacks are still occuring as (in)frequently as they always have even with the NSA and GCHQ's absolutely massive dragnet.

      The worst part is they're saying this is a temporary power that'll be reviewed in 2016 when Labour will almost certainly be in power. The Milliband/Brown/Balls strain of Labour is the most dictatorial leadership we've seen in decades given that they were the "brains" behind the ID card database, they wanted the IMP, they wanted a nationwide DNA database of everyone. I see little hope for this doing anything other than getting worse in the coming years.

      Which is a shame, because things had largely gotten better in the last 4 years on this particular front - the Digital Economy Act whilst not destroyed has at least been gutted, the national ID database had been scrapped, the ability of many authorities such as local councils to spy had been massively curbed, CCTV had been scaled back. Still a hell of a long way to go, but definitely civil liberties had improved in the last 4 years, especially compared to the massive downward spiral under Brown. Unfortunately it seems the ConDems decided they'd fuck up the only thing they haven't fucked up right in their last 9 months. Why? What the fuck is wrong with them? We nearly did it. We nearly made it a full parliamentary term without dictatorship syndrome kicking in, alas, here it is.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jeIIomizer (3670945)

        god only knows we still don't have quite the limits on free speech of France and Germany

        "X is worse than Y" != "Y is good."

        Why do people adore this 'logic' so much? Evaluate something on its own merits.

        • by Xest (935314)

          I never said that, you're just drawing a conclusion that isn't there. I'm merely stating that some things are worse elsewhere, that doesn't inherently mean I believe therefore that everything is okay. There's always room for improvement but I tend to weight things based on comparisons to other countries. If we're in the top 20 globally that doesn't mean we're doing good overall, it just means we're doing well relatively.

          I think you're missing the point of relatively well, vs. absolutely well, and making som

          • I think it's still sensationalist nonsense to claim Britain isn't a free country, god only knows we still don't have quite the limits on free speech of France and Germany.

            The second part of the sentence seemed to be offered as 'proof' that the claim that Britain isn't a free country is sensationalist nonsense.

            Well, I know you didn't mean it that way now, but that's what I thought at the time. I see a lot of people use logic like that.

            There's always room for improvement but I tend to weight things based on comparisons to other countries.

            Whereas I tend to judge things on their own merits.

            so I don't really know why you'd jump to such a conclusion in the first place.

            Because I thought you were making such an argument.

            • by Xest (935314)

              No, the reason I originally wrote that I'm torn was because I meant I was torn between the fact that yes we're a fucked up country, but we're also not as bad as we could be. I'm torn in the fact that in the global rankings of shit countries we actually do very well, but doing very well is still apparently depressingly bad.

              It's really quite sad. It's almost like we need a new cold war so that Western countries can actually pretend to be the freedom loving side again and actually have to do something to prove

      • I'm torn because whilst things like this sicken me (as a British citizen)

        You mean "subject"? When Parliament began using "citizen" in Britain it still conferred or recognized almost no actual (meaning, inalienable) rights to the British subjects. Your EU citizenship meanwhile has guaranteed that the State must respect that you have rights at all (http://www.jcm.org.uk/blog/2009/08/british-citizenship-vs-european-citizenship/). Best of wishes for you in the difficulties that lie ahead.

      • Talking of FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

        by kevlar_rat (995996) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:02PM (#47425151) Homepage Journal

        Similarly there's a lot of FUD about RIPA's password clause by people who haven't read the law which explicitly states that police have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone has a key before they can be prosecuted for not handing it over

        Except it doesn't.
        The actual quote from the law [legislation.gov.uk] is:

        For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key to protected information at a particular time if— (a)sufficient evidence of that fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and (b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

        IOW the defence has to show "sufficient evidence ... to raise an issue", and then and only then does the prosecution have to prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. So this is a completely new standard of proof introduced into the British criminal system after 1000 years of using only [wikipedia.org] the 'proof beyond a reasonable doubt' test. How do you show 'sufficient evidence' that you have forgotten a password? Nobody knows.
        AFAIK (and IANAL) no judge has yet accepted the defence has shown 'sufficient evidence'. How do you show a negative - that you don't know something? Maybe judges think (correctly) that it's impossible to 'raise an issue', so the prosecution never has to prove anything apart from that you didn't hand over a password.
        This is what's known as the 'reverse burden of proof' introduced in RIPA. You don't have to prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' you forgot the password, but you do have to show 'sufficient evidence', or - if you don't hand over a password - you're automatically guilty.
        What's more the Home Office code of practice [google.com] says that even if you have 'sufficient evidence' - it might not even be allowed in court 'if the person fails to raise some doubt as to whether he still had the key when the notice was given'.

        it's never happened, everyone prosecuted to date has been like the plonker in yesterday's news story who incriminated themselves for the simple reason they were actually dickheads.

        Perhaps you're assuming no judge would be that corrupt,so here's a case of someone who quite plausibly forgot his password being imprisoned [newstatesman.com]:

        A TEEN who refused to give police officers an encryption password for his computer has been jailed for four months. Evidence showed that the defendant admitted in police interviews that he had set an encrypted password of between 40 and 50 characters containing both letters and numbers using an encryption software programme and that he had had originally relied on his memory to recall it but could not recall it when he was served with the notice.
        The jury heard both the prosecution and defence case and accepted the prosecution case that the defendant must have kept a record of this very complex password, rather than relying on memory, and that he had deliberately failed to disclose it to the police. They returned a guilty verdict after 15 minutes deliberation.

        Incidentally, if you do get ordered to hand over a password - even to sometimes else's data you happen to have - you're not allowed to tell anyone [theregister.co.uk], presumably not even to ask for the password.

        • by Xest (935314)

          "and then and only then does the prosecution"

          Where exactly does the law state that? There's no "then and only then" or similar even written there, this is an assumption you've made up to try and align your incorrect understanding of RIPA with what's actually written. The rest of your rant is therefore irrelevant because it's based on a mis-reading of the law, and insertion of a clause that just is not there. You're effectively parroting the Daily Mail esque FUD that The Register has spouted over the years,

          • Where exactly does the law state that? There's no "then and only then"

            It was the law I quoted immediately above it. I even bolded the relevant part.

            For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key [ie he forgot it] to protected information at a particular time if—
            (a)sufficient evidence of that fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; *AND*
            (b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

            (my emphasis) Note the word 'AND'.
            Hopefully most people understand that X = a AND b means you ne

            • by Xest (935314)

              You're still making stuff up, i.e.:

              "This is a press release from the CPS - not an argument made in court. We don't know what was said in court. We do know, for certain, what the law says and it's quite clear. The prosecution do NOT need to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that someone remembers their password, as you claimed they do, except in exceptional circumstances."

              Where are these exceptional circumstances? Where is the requirement for this? In the very case we're talking about the defendant, the judge,

    • by erroneus (253617)

      Yes and this emergency law is there to legitimize what they are already doing in advance of legal battles.

    • Hitler's revenge. The UK may have won WWII, but ultimately they became what they loathed. Sometimes men who fight monsters become monsters themselves...
    • by jandersen (462034)

      Please forgive me if I try to inject a bit sanity into the discussion.

      Firstly, there were EU rules in place, which required ISPs etc to keep records of who contacted who, how long they had to keep them and under which circumstances they were required to disclose this information to the police. These rules were overturned, and the UK government rushes a set of laws through, that put the EU rules back in power at the national level. IOW this is not a sudden introduction of new, sweeping powers to spy on UK ci

  • "Emergency" laws. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by newcastlejon (1483695) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:15AM (#47423947)

    Everyone knows the best laws are the ones rushed through the commons and passed on the nod in the other place.

    From TFA:

    Mr Cameron said: "We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa."

    Paedophiles are a threat to national security now? Organised crime? Maybe, but for heaven's sake how stupid does this government think we are, that we would swallow yet another use of pedophiles as the bogeymen du jour? That was a rhetorical question, it's not a question of stupidity as much as it is voter apathy coming back to bite us in our collective backside. Again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Also from TFA:

      "I'll be explaining today why emergency legislation is needed to maintain powers to help keep us safe from those who would harm UK citizens."

      Same as retroactive immunity for telcos in the US. Apparently the "emergency" is that what they were doing was illegal, so it has to be made legal very quickly, preferably before anybody can bring a case to the court. If you make it retroactively legal fast enough, nobody has standing to bring a case, and no politicians are embarassed, and none of their

      • "The government says if there had been no new powers there would have been no obligation on phone and internet companies to keep records if there was a UK court challenge to the retention of data."

        So? That's a good thing. It's the reason why the ECJ ruled as it did. Grrrr....

      • Apparently the "emergency" is that what they were doing was illegal

        No. This is about ISPs retaining data, not the Govt. The reason they want it now is that ISPs are threatening to delete the data -- which would be a year's data plus however long it takes to pass this bill.

        Not that it should be passed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I like how they use the word "pedophiles" as if pedophiles are inherently evil or dangerous. Just because someone is a pedophile doesn't mean that they look or child porn or rape children.

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:43AM (#47424147)
      They must be getting desperate if they are using "Think of the Children" and "TERRORISM DURR HURR" at the same time.
    • by splutty (43475)

      This law is actually only enacted because their previous law got invalidated by the EU, and they really really want to still be able to do this!

      The discussion on this was when the first law was enacted, it's too late now, really.

      • by N1AK (864906)

        This law is actually only enacted because their previous law got invalidated by the EU, and they really really want to still be able to do this!

        I disagree with these rules on retention, but the false comments by others who share that view are blurring an important debate. The law that got invalidated by the European court was an EU law not a UK law, so no this isn't because their law was invalidated. There's been a fuss made about this bill being rushed through as though it to hide something; however the bi

        • by N1AK (864906)
          Apologies: It was meant to say it includes a "very short sunset clause"
        • EU law IS UK law by virtue of the UK being in the EU.

          Not defending this Bill but currently ISPs aren't obliged to do what the Home Secretary tells them.

    • by Xest (935314) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:59AM (#47424261)

      The Lib Dems seem to have finally completely and utterly removed any reason for their existence too. I really don't get it.

      They'd already seen their support tank for ignoring students, but those that remained in support of them still largely supported them because despite that they were still the best option for civil liberties given that they blocked Cameron and co's previous plan to brink back the interception modernisation programme. For all their mistakes they had at least to date still stood in defend of civil liberties.

      Now they've thrown that away, so there's literally no reason to vote for them anymore. We used to see regular jokes on TV, in the media and so forth about the Lib Dems being pointless but it's now no longer a joke, it's a simple statement of fact.

      Personally I'd vote Pirate but they don't stand around here anyway so I guess my only choice is the greens whom unfortunately focus far too much on feminism issues for my taste (it's important to me, but not as important as they rate it- there are many other things that matter more than that because they effect everyone, not just half the population). This said I don't even think the greens stand around here now anyway, so I guess it's time to scribble the old "Fuck you" party onto my ballot from now on.

      • by Justpin (2974855)
        Sure but I don't think they really care as the politicians who got into power walk away with a large severance package and an extremely valuable pension that would put most 401Ks to shame
        • by Xest (935314)

          To be fair I don't think that's really true in the UK. I earn more than most politicians and I'm just a developer.

          • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @12:08PM (#47424751)

            How much cash do you get slipped to you?

            How many implied promises of speaking fees exceeding your yearly gross?

            Politicians have exceeded the capacity of money and trade in power. Money just falls off the power; it's a force of nature. e.g. Chelsea Clinton gets how much for speaking fees?

            • by Xest (935314)

              I think it depends what level you're at, genuinely there are a large number of MPs that really don't get much on the side (other than the expenses they manage to fiddle). It's easy to see people like Tony Blair, or Chelsea Clinton (who last I checked was never a British MP) and assume they all make millions but that's rarely true. Even the genuine millionaires largely came into the profession with their fortunes in the first place which is a problem in itself, albeit it a separate one.

              • In America, I 'earn' more the Diane Feinstien. But she manages to openly ship millions/year in no-bid contracts to her husband's company.

                Admittedly historical. LBJ started politics dead broke and retired a multimillionaire.

                • by Xest (935314)

                  Sure but again, as I said, the UK isn't America. Of the 650 MPs most were either rich to start with, or don't earn more than about 60k - 70k a year even with the option of backhanders.

                  Comparing American political wealth to the UK is silly, they're completely different, and few British politicians retire millionaires unless they were already. If you're a backbencher and weren't already rich you'll be unlikely to make much on the side as an MP - it's only really those in the cabinet that can make much from it

    • by Justpin (2974855)
      Paedophiles yup because quite a number of politicians were named in cases involving paedophilia and quite conveniently the police files on them were destroyed y'know completely by accident of course. Therefore to protect their identities, I mean national security this law had to be enacted.
    • Re:"Emergency" laws. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:19AM (#47424419)

      What I don't get is how ANY of those groups pose a threat to anyone outside of their local areas. ISIS doesn't care about the West, their entire reason for existing is that the al-Maliki government in Iraq essentially locked out the Sunnis from representation in the country's government and they had a handy bunch of Islamic fighters in the country next door who were willing to divert their rebellion against Bashar al-Assad for a little while to try and take down al-Maliki. If anything, they'd have more reason to go after the United States (who installed al-Maliki) than they would to try something against the UK.

      al-Shabab is a localized terror group based out of Somalia. Yes, they attacked a mall in Africa, but defense analysts in the United States have said multiple times that al-Shabab does not have the resources or the manpower to mount an attack on the United States or any of its interests. I would assume that the UK, being a long-time ally of the United States, would count as a "United States interest".

      Last I checked, the UK also has existing laws on the books for dealing with pedophiles and organized crime - they were certainly able to handle the IRA before the days of mass-surveillance programs. Neither of these seem to pose any real "national security" threat that I can see, though I don't live in the UK.

      Cameron was lying through his teeth and he knows it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314)

      This bit was a complete joke too:

      "I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it."

      Right, but you're willing to stand up and be the cunt the said fuck you to human rights law and obliterated all remaining semblance of privacy in the UK? What a twat.

    • by hazeii (5702)

      And the reason this was *scheduled* for news release today?

      Because there was a public sector strike too (they knew which would get the TV headlines).

      Plus the lame nods about "sunset" clause (yeah right) and reviews of RIPA (yeah, heard that one before).

      What do the people of this fine land think?

      Well, you only need to start reading the comments [bbc.co.uk] to see.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:18AM (#47423969)

    The wars are starting now.

  • Is basically this: "...will receive cross-party support..." Everything that erodes privacy or impinges on liberties such as overbearing police powers, mass spying, rampant drug prohbition etc. It all gets unquestioned and unchallenged "cross party support".
  • Not long at all for lawmakers who had their previous law invalidated and worked in concert with members of the opposition to ensure that the proposed version is acceptable to a majority.

    But of course Timothy WILL put the most muckraking spin on it he can...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Is Where: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wik... [memory-alpha.org]

    We Are Headed: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt07... [imdb.com]

    Never Forget: https://tinyurl.com/poorwesley... [tinyurl.com]

    They want control of your mind.

    This isn't about entertainment at all - the end 'game' is the battle for your mind!

    The Mind Has No Firewall | by Timothy L. Thomas. Parameters, Spring 1998, pp. 84-92.
    http://pastebin.com/JdkqxBAa [pastebin.com]

  • "It's just metadata" (Score:4, Informative)

    by PigleT (28894) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:26AM (#47424021) Homepage

    The BBC news is reporting [bbc.co.uk] that apparently it's not as bad as it could be because it's not storing the content of phone-calls made, just who was called and when.

    Anyone who wants to know just how powerful mere "metadata" actually is should go read http://kieranhealy.org/blog/ar... [kieranhealy.org] .

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Justpin (2974855)
      Well considering the BBC is the UK's state propaganda akin to Pravada, I'm not really sure you can be citing them as a reliable source. The BBC loves to omit certain things. For exampe 'c'est soir' in regards to the Iraq war.
      • by jez9999 (618189)

        "It's evening"? Huh? What do you mean?

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:56AM (#47424251)

    70yrs ago, England stood alone in Europe against the shackles of tyranny. A few years later, and millions lives lost, England prevailed. Little did they know at the time that less than a century later the same arguments made by the Nazis regarding an imaginary immigrant threat and terrorist would be used again by their own government. The government will save them from criminals, but who will save them from their own government?

    • Because great men like Winston S. Churchill are now long dead.

    • A few years later, and millions lives lost, England prevailed.

      I am assuming you mean "millions of German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese lives lost here", since the UK lost fewer than half a million?

  • What disturbs me is the apparently lockstep between the UK and the US in the subversion of democracy and installation of fascist totalitarianism. I'm not even a so-called conspiracy nut, this should just be obvious to anyone following the news. Why is this not being talked about?
    • Re:Best Buddies! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by meta-monkey (321000) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @12:40PM (#47424995) Journal

      Yesterday Glenn Greenwald published a new story about five innocent Muslim Americans who were targeted by the NSA for collections, one of whom was surveiled without a warrant. These people were lawyers; one was a Republican candidate for state legislature and a former official in Bush's Department of Homeland Security. We were told the NSA was only spying on foreigners, and here they are caught in yet another bald-faced lie. To me, this is a huge story. Puts names and faces on the people illegally and unconstitutionally spied on by the government.

      Let's see, front page of CNN.com? Nope. Foxnews.com? Nope. If you search you can find like a blog post mentioning it. Same thing happened last year when the Snowden leaks first came out. They either ignored it or ran "Hero or Traitor? You decide!" fluff pieces or showed pictures of his stripper girlfriend and completely ignored the whole "hey, isn't this creepy as fuck and blatantly unconstitutional and yet is supported by all three branches of government and the bulk of both parties?" thing.

      I was never the kind of person who thought the media was necessarily a mouthpiece for the state. I thought they were just shitty at their jobs and it was easier to report horserace politics and debates on "controversial issues" than real journalism. But this kind of shit...fuck man. There's really no other conclusion you can draw. The media intentionally downplays the abuses of the fascist surveillance state. And it must be intentional, because this shit is real news about which they could have their fake talking head debates and get ratings. It's right there...easy stuff. And nothing. There is only one conclusion to draw from that.

    • by mpe (36238)
      What disturbs me is the apparently lockstep between the UK and the US in the subversion of democracy and installation of fascist totalitarianism.

      What I find interesting is that neither UKIP or The BNP have much to say about UK/US relationship. Even though both claim to be "nationalist". Whilst UKIP has plenty to say about "Europe" their silence is deafening with respect to how the UK government interacts with most of the world.
      • by RockDoctor (15477)
        UKIP/BNP (I don't see much reason to differentiate the neo-Nazis) are probably very uncomfortable with Obama. Him being a nigger and a Muslim and all.

        (Just taking the polish off their words to expose the turds of their ideas.)

  • Rewording a statute so that the recently disavowed laws are changed cosmetically 'just enough' to make it through a summer session will politics as usual. This is nothing other than kicking the can down the road and making work for the legal-industruial complex. We DO want the security services to go after the bad guys but could can we all at least keep our dignity when doing so?

    'We need unlimited emergency powers all the time because of a special existential threat that we're not going to tell you about' i

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:36AM (#47424539)

    FTA:

    "I'll be explaining today why emergency legislation is needed to maintain powers to help keep us safe from those who would harm UK citizens."

    — David Cameron

    No need to explain, David. We all know this is just another excuse for more power-hoarding privacy invasion, and that "those who would harm UK citizens" are in fact you and your masters. Kindly stop pretending and man up. The only "emergency" here is the fear fantasy you're manufacturing and trying to get UK citizens to swallow.

  • "In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years."

    -- Emperor Palpatine

  • ... or sounds a whole hell of a lot like it...

  • I wrote a letter to my MP. In it I expressly told him that I fear the government more than terrorists, that I don't trust the police (and quoted specific examples why) and drew direct parallels between this legislation and the activities of the Stasi.

    He'll fucking ignore it, because he's an arrogant cunt that couldn't give a shit about his constituents, staunchly supports European integration ahead of the interests of the UK and until recently was in thrall to his corporate paymasters. Yes Kenneth Clarke, I

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