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UK Government Wants To Bypass Data Protection Act 262

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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  • A facebook group? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:14PM (#27046965)

    because we all know how well respected they are...

  • Terrifying! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravos ( 912628 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:18PM (#27046993) Homepage
    This legislation is truly terrifying. It allows the government to aggregate all data that they keep about you. It would mean that the government was exempt of the key points of the Data Protection Act.

    We must do better than this.
  • oh the irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:19PM (#27046997)

    of protesting privacy on a companies site that base their revenue (and databases) on people handing them private data.

    facebook isnt worth million$ for their pretty graphics

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:25PM (#27047033)
    And the morons choose to protest on facebook, so that anyone and everyone can see who you are and it's stored in one of the very databases this kind of act is targeted at.

    not to mention that if your level of protest is a few mouse clicks, no one is going to take you seriously.

  • Raise your hand... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:28PM (#27047047)

    ...if you didn't see this coming. I don't think anyone believed for a minute that any government worker would idly sit on a data goldmine, and not utilize to its full capability. Which is why the proper response to any request for linking databases or collecting any data outside of that necessary for filing charges is "Are you crazy?"

    I'd also like to point out that facebook groups are the new Internet petitions: completely meaningless. Either call or mail your representative, or take it like a good consumer.

  • And we care why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:38PM (#27047079)

    Really people, stop bitching, and start encrypting everything, using bank accounts in countries like Switzerland, and doing everything possible to minimize the data collected on you. Of course, you'll be labeled a terrorist for going "off grid", but if you want privacy anymore these days, you need to control your exposure. You. Personally.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:43PM (#27047103)
    what credible threats to the life and liberty of the UK citizenry could possibly justify this?
  • UK is FUBAR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BountyX ( 1227176 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:44PM (#27047117)
    Why? Why is the UK so bent on tracking this shit all the time. The purpose of government and legislation is to facilitate interactions between people in some manner. I don't see the social service this provides to the welfare of the people? They are already tracking emails and phone calls unconditionally. All internet traffic is going through proxied servers (as evident during wikipedia incident with "child porn" on an album cover). Cameras all over cities. Seriously has anyone stopped to consider if all this technology is even EFFECTIVE (in use)? Furthermore, the fact that this "bypass" is given exclusive to the Minister is a big warning sign. I bet they're too scared to give people the same rights. The biggest risk of all this; ofcourse, is that augmentation of such data over a long period of time can pretty much be construed to incriminate anyone. What a waste of government resources.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:45PM (#27047127)

    Really people, stop bitching, and start encrypting everything

    That only works until the mere presence of encryption (or any dataset that merely appears to be encrypted) is criminalized to a high degree. They'll do whatever they can to make the average citizen perceive encryption as too risky.

  • by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:58PM (#27047199) Homepage Journal

    when they buy sensationalist, right wing papers

    Yes, because The Guardian immune from sensationalism. I'm not even British and I can make this comment!

    There is hope for me about the UK. People are starting to realize that the government isn't looking out for their best interests, especially among the younger generations.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:59PM (#27047209) Journal

    I'd also like to point out that facebook groups are the new Internet petitions: completely meaningless. Either call or mail your representative, or take it like a good consumer.

    Facebook groups are the new e-mail list.
    They are useful for rallying and coordinating activities.

    Though I doubt the government cares very much, many large corporations have keyed into
    facebook/twitter/etc in order to quickly respond to complaints before they become PR messes.

  • I said it before (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:59PM (#27047213)

    The so called "democratic republics" HATE the freedom they profess to love.

    Until the digital age, actual freedom was pretty hard. With the internet, the ability to reach the masses with ideas and data is virtually effortless.

    In the U.S.A. at least, "We The People" better get off our asses and do something. In the UK, the BBC says the subjects have been careless with their freedoms.

    This stuff is bullshit (sorry), march, protest, resist!!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:12PM (#27047283)

    The British public support this measure and others like it every single morning when they buy sensationalist, right wing papers whose sole objective seems to be to prevent the Government from acting in any kind of reasonable or rational way. Hence CCTV mania, databases and ID cards.

    The British public do NOT support these kinds of measures. They only think they do because The Sun tells them so. Most of the people in the UK are brainless SkyTV addicted reality tv watching idiots (very much like the Nascar/reality tv watching rednecks in the states). The Sun prints something and they believe it because they want to fit in, are too lazy to think for themselves and believe that everyone else feels the same way. If they ever actually discussed these issues or even saw other real people (reality tv is not real people) they'd find that others dont approve of these measures.

  • by andy_t_roo ( 912592 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:16PM (#27047303)

    you could argue that non-anonymously protesting something like this shows the event is a bit more significant that a few mouse clicks -- if these people are right about what they are protesting, then their name would end up in a database of "people known to object to government activities" which can then be shared around.

    i agree that objecting to other things via facebook isn't that significant (if you care send an email, or even better write the email, but print it out and post it), but publicly protesting potential privacy breaches?

  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:20PM (#27047319)

    I believe that the slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy in most cases. (To implement laws that you don't want through what? Political momentum?)

    The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy only when it's used as deductive reasoning. But when you apply inductive reasoning, which is arguably much more applicable to politics, the slippery slope holds up nicely.

    Every time A has happened, B has resulted.
    If we let A happen again, B will probably happen.

    Pretty rock-solid, if you ask me. If you replace A with "The government has reduced the people's right to privacy, in order to increase the government's power" and B with "The people have grown to accept their reduced rights, and the government has still wanted more power", you have the current situation.

    If we (or rather, "they," as I'm not British) accept this invasion, then the government will likely be left wanting more, and the people will grow ever more complacent. It's happened every time thus far, why think that it'll be different this time?

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:27PM (#27047343) Homepage Journal

    The so called "democratic republics" HATE the freedom they profess to love.

    The UK is a monarchy. Their entire political system exists because the Queen wants it to.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:47PM (#27047435)

    You forget, we never elected the current administration in the first place. Fortunately, we will certainly get a chance to unelect them in the fairly near future.

    Perhaps, in the spirit of the "changing the law to get one person is OK because public opinion that we've stirred up is against him" news articles we've seen this week, the next administration could change the law retrospectively so we could try the current lot for crimes against humanity?

  • by Petrushka ( 815171 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:12PM (#27047563)
    Using Swiss bank accounts may be a partial solution, but you're still going to have tax records, NHS records, driving licences, passports, etc. that you can't encrypt, and which you can't prevent inappropriate people from seeing (such as government ministers ... including the unelected ones). Encryption only helps with respect to personal communication. There are lots of transactions that require more insecure types of communication, unfortunately.
  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:13PM (#27047569) Homepage Journal
    It just goes to show why the populace would fight, or at least be cautious and try to restrain govt. from pretty much ANY law they want to pass, especially with regard to police needs and personal privacy.

    The govt. will never stop at the originally intended intent of the law, no matter how much they promise to limit the reach of the law for the intended use that 'everyone can agree with'.

    The govt. ALWAYS will later, expand upon said law to use it in new and creative ways never intended, or try to stretch it to be used to prosecute someone that might have done something, but, there currently isn't a direct law that applies (like with that lady who harrased a teen online, and said teen killed herself).

    Heck...look at the new and creative ways in the past decade that they have been expanding the RICO act which was put in place only to target the mob.

    We should insist that most new laws are not only VERY narrowly defined, but that they also have sunset give the public at least a fighting chance to not only keep laws from expanding in scope, but, to also have hope that some that are downright bad...have a chance to go away.

  • by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:24PM (#27047643) Homepage Journal

    Why exactly did Great Britain fight Hitler?
    Churchill said some crap about liberties, freedom & stuff like that.
    (of course he was a racist pig and a cancer-inducing chronic smoker who slept when London burned).
    Seems Hitler's ideas won after all. Lets step back a moment and analyze him:
    1) He kept saying that the Soviets are a menace and communism must be wiped out.
    Which became the mantra of UK and USA after WW2.
    2) He racially profiled people: USA does the same under Truman, FDR and Bush. UK does it explicitly. Hell churchill was an exponent of freedom for all, but vehemently (and violently) denied the same to British Colonies.
    3) He believed in Rule of law (the Reich laws of racism were based on US laws). So does UK and USA.
    4) He refused to prosecute the Reich Police and Armed Forces who violated the law. Tasering police and fasle-evidence-planting police and murdering soldiers go scot-free in UK and USA.
    5) He always thought that the State was bigger than the Individual. Hell yeah!
    6) He was a proponent of tracking the smallest activity of the individual. So does UK.

    So, it is proven as a theorem that Hitler's ideals are what UK is following.
    Looks like he won after all!
    Wow! Our brave Hurriance pilots, the brave lonely men in Bombers who did not return home, the men who braved Omaha and Gallipoli, and the countless WACs who wept when their men died will all be happy to learn this.

  • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:33PM (#27047695) Homepage
    They are useful for rallying and coordinating activities.

    Slight correction: they are useful for making people feel like they are rallying and coordinating activities. They provide a nice outlet for people's urge to "stick it to the man" (usually by complaining), without actually accomplishing anything - everybody wins!
  • by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:35PM (#27047709) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget that the government even wants to ban kitchen knives! []

    All for the sake of reducing "knife violence".

    Remember folks: "gun violence" and "knife violence" are already illegal. In every jurisdiction in the U.S., there's already a law against "assault with a deadly weapon". I'm sure that U.K. jurisdictions have a similar law.

  • The arguement (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Demonantis ( 1340557 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:51PM (#27047769)
    The most powerful argument I have heard for use of surveillance technology is that people that don't break the law should not fear it. The problem is what if the laws change to suit the people in power. We don't need to give the government power that it does not need, but if we need to give them power to protect us it must come at a great cost to them. Regulate the access of the information. Make the process completely transparent. If abuse occurs make the system stop functioning or let the abused go free. It is safe guards like these that ensure the legal system. Why can't it be applied to all government functions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:12AM (#27047861)

    In the U.S.A. at least, "We The People" better get off our asses and do something.

    Of course, "You The People" in the USA have been great about getting off your asses and doing something about the FBI reading all your (and our) e-mail. You've been vigorously defending your rights when your government tries to extend copyright law into something draconian, and of course haven't let them become pawns of industry cartels to push those restrictions on the rest of us.

    Wait a second...

  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:17AM (#27047877) Journal
    Well if they do it like they've been doing here in the USA they'll just say it is to catch those nasty pedos and then nobody will dare speak against it. The pedo has become the 21st century boogie man, like the commie in the 50s. They tried using terrorists but found that it doesn't shut up critics like pedo does. After all surely YOU don't want to let those evil pedos get away now, do you?
  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:24AM (#27047907) Journal

    Every time A has happened, B has resulted.
    If we let A happen again, B will probably happen.

    Pretty rock-solid, if you ask me.

    Well, remind me not to in the future. This is certainly not rock solid. You assume (like all people who use the slippery slope argument in this context) that people will take any abuse from the government just because they take a little abuse from the government (assuming, of course, that this is abuse, and not people feeling insecure and running to the government for help), that means they'll take any abuse from the government. I might be able to swallow a mouthful of sea water when I'm at the beach, but that doesn't mean I'll be able to finish the rest of the ocean.

    It's a fallacy, pure and simple. It's an argument based on very shaky intuition based on small, trivial cases (where relevant variables do not change as a result of A happening), but fails to hold for most situations in life.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:55AM (#27048051) Journal
    The UK just wants to cover itself.
    The good old days of standing before the "house" and saying 'we' do not spy on UK citizens is over.
    Allowing the NSA spy at will from bases within the UK.
    Spying on "Ireland" []
    The problem is not the spying, or allowing US bases to spy.
    The problem for your average UK MP critter is getting exposed lying to the house.
    A baited question about domestic public/corporate surveillance and this helps with that.
    The MP can face questions in the house knowing they will be covered as they spin.
  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @01:38AM (#27048263)

    Every time the Sun has set, it has risen.
    The Sun set a few hours ago for me, yet I'm confident that it will rise again.

    I don't need a deductive proof to know it.

    Or another example, if I flip a coin and have it land heads 100 times in a row, I can be pretty confident that if I flip it again, it will land on heads again. "Gamblers' Fallacy!" you might mistakenly claim. But it's not... the odds a of a fair coin landing on heads a hundred times in a row are on the order of 1 in 10^30. More likely, I have found a biased coin.

    To consider your "gulp of saltwater at the ocean" example, you are thinking only of an isolated incident. That doesn't make a pattern. Now, if you swallowed a mouthful of saltwater every single time you went to the beach, twenty times in a row, then yes, I'd say it's likely that you will swallow yet another on your 21st visit.

    Deductive logic is great for mathematicians. For everything else, inductive logic is our best tool.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @04:03AM (#27048721)

    "The Guardian, however, isn't at all in any way."

    What utter bollocks.

    The Daily Mail piss and moan about the "nanny state" enough, granted. But that's because there's a Labour government in power right now. If (when) the Tories were in power, they'd be pulling the same shit and the Mail would be praising them for it.

    The Daily Mail are as much a part of the problem as anything. Their fear-mongering reactionary and sensationalist stories about immigrants coming over here to steal our jawbs, blow up our tourist attractions and eat our children only serve to misinform the public on this sort of legislation.

    As for the BBC... They have some superb services, but I agree, like media company, we need to be cautious on what information we digest from them.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @04:38AM (#27048837)

    Facebook groups aren't created with the hope of people in power looking at the amount of people in the group and thinking "Oh, let's do something about that". They're created to spread the word- the point is that Facebook groups are viral, each time someone you know joins it you will see about it on your profile page or whatever. If you join, your friends will see about it too. This spreads and spreads so that more people are aware of the issue than otherwise would be.

    That's why people use Facebook groups- to spread the word, not to directly try and achieve change. It's a quick and free way to spread the word to a lot of people you don't otherwise know.

  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @04:44AM (#27048863)

    They do use that argument, but the favourite phrase by far is "without these tools, the police will be hampered in their efforts to protect us from terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants".

    With the implied argument that if you're a 'civil liberties campaigner' who dares argue against the database state, you're in favour of the terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants getting away scot-free.

  • by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @04:54AM (#27048899)

    Having the DNA records of hundreds of thousands of innocent people - including young children - stored on the police database indefinitely was ruled illegal by the Court recently.

    So far, the UK government has done jack all about changing the situation, and is muttering about having a consultation about maybe putting in place a machanism by which innoncent people can have their DNA removed from the database, considering the merits, in exceptional circumstances. But the police of course constantly trump how important the database is to
    fighting crime and preventing terrorism, and of course they care about civil liberties, but they have to balance those in a fair manner against the need to fight crime effectively.
    There are already such rules in place, but the case has to be pretty damn exceptional indeed to get your details off, even if you've never been convicted of anything.

    Any such ruling by the court of human rights regarding other illegal data collection and mining would also likely be ignored, as the council of ministers and even the parliament is leaning towards ever greater data retention laws, such as the one passed in 2005.

  • by FourthAge ( 1377519 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:24AM (#27049037) Journal

    And New Labour (the UK Government - still...) have the brass balls to tell us that we're not living in a police state.

    Jack Straw (senior idiot MP). "Talk of a police state is daft []".

    Tom Harris (idiot MP). "Our liberties are safe with Labour []".

    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister considers introducing a special law to deal with one (very unpopular) retired banker with a huge pension that was approved by his Government. How democratic [].

    As a UK subject I cannot wait to vote these fuckwits out.

  • by FourthAge ( 1377519 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:33AM (#27049063) Journal

    No2ID has been running for several years now without doing anything to discredit itself and its members, such as aligning itself with the far right, carrying out violent protests, or endorsing a particular party. Those are the sort of wrecking tactics that we might expect the Government to use if it secretly controlled them.

    However, its main problem is that it is an unfashionable issue. The main stream media is to blame for this. Instead of warning people about the ID register, they have encouraged complacency and the "doesn't bother me, I have nothing to hide" attitude which is so dangerous in an effective democracy.

    No surprise, then, that No2ID rarely gets a mention. To their credit, the BBC do link to the No2ID site when it's relevant, and they do get quotes from the No2ID people, but they tend only to include these as a token "opposing viewpoint" and not a real argument.

  • by myspace-cn ( 1094627 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:57AM (#27049163)

    Right, let's hate the UK citizens cause they aren't in control of their fascist government. American voters are absolutely in control of their fascist government. Right? So lets hate the Britts and have them hate us Yanks.

    Britts lost their right to bear arms, while Americans still have theirs. But what neither one see, is invisible. Invisible vote rigging, invisible disease, invisible theft. We both get hit by the same ELF freq's.

    Meanwhile, both our respective government's officials are masturbating and screwing us all in the back rooms. Inbred pieces of nasty pond scum on both sides of the pond! They love we're pissed at each other, can't be mad at them for willfully allowing all the theft of all the money and selling out both of our county's rights, and certainly can't keep up with their future preparations for the continuity of both respective government's power.

    A hint: officials on both sides of the pond plan to keep the same shit up, until they both use the military against their own people. Neither government is financially viable. Officials on both sides need a 10th grade math teacher to slap their greedy power grabbing hands with a ruler/meter/switch/paddle/cord. They willfully turn a blind eye to the fraud which is now sending us down the river stix with no paddle.

    It doesn't matter if you are a "bloody wanker" or a "piece of shit red neck hick motherfucker." The end result is lost civil rights, and theft of our savings in each of our respective currencies, and if we protest they will mow our ass's down.

    It's the ultimate piracy.

    "Shut the fuck up", is what the officials in both governments want. Wanna be if everyone in both governments was tested for drugs, there would be hell to pay?

    I say fuck these motherfuckers of both governments, not the people of both governments.
    In the US, if they continue down the same path, we will have %50 unemployment, and a depression much worse than the 1930's, and a military plan against the people who rebel. In the UK they have put together a little secret Military plan against protesters who have lost everything and are starving and rebel.

    So.... Why do I hate UK citizens again? Why should I listen to psyop crap AC postings calling American's, Wanker Yanks?

    If I was in England, and spoke my mind the queen would probably have me jailed nearly immediately, because the fact of the matter is the queen ain't a fucking GOD, she's a fucking human. Same as the president in the USA. A fucking lame fucking human. And in my opinion, some rock-stars have better judgment!

    While you might be on video everywhere you go in England, out in the US, if we move $5,000 dollars we are tagged by the FBI.

    The good news, is it's all going to come to a head. The US can keep pumping shit bailouts for so much longer, the MATH, is what is going to clear this out. In our case, it could be the government itself after a bond market crash. I can't tell you much more about the UK. Other than I know they have some military shit planned against the people.

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

    by pjt33 ( 739471 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @05:59AM (#27049169)

    There wasn't a "side of communists [and] anarchists" in the Spanish Civil War. Communists and anarchists fought for the elected Republican government in preference to the fascist rebellion, so it would be accurate to say that he fought alongside communists and anarchists but it was on the side of democracy.

  • by Jane_Dozey ( 759010 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:04AM (#27049191)

    When senior police (aka politicians in uniforms) start claiming that we "need" these things in order to stay safe I have to laugh. Especially when people like Dame Stella Rimington, a lady who knows a darn sight more about any "terrorist threat" (ex-MI5 head), comes out and says what a load of rubbish they're talking []. Makes me wonder if there actually *is* hope for us on this little island.

  • Re:UK is FUBAR (Score:4, Insightful)

    by professorguy ( 1108737 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:51AM (#27049391)

    such data over a long period of time can pretty much be construed to incriminate anyone. What a waste of government resources.

    A waste? Far from it. Having data to incriminate ANYONE is not a problem--it is the goal. Sounds like they got exactly what they wanted, resources be damned.

  • Re:Slippery Slopes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:55AM (#27049415) Homepage Journal

    What manner of indignation will it take to push the people into forcibly retaking government and reducing its size one head at a time?

    Cancelling the latest series of Celebrity I've Got A Bargain Ballroom In My Big Jungle Attic.

    Or putting the price of beer & cigs up too far.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:20AM (#27049507) Homepage Journal
    No, an Australian. I have a copy of our constitution right here. The entire document rests on one statement that (basically) the Queen is in charge and may (or may not) appoint a Government to run things. If the UK is actually more democratic I would be very surprised. Personally I am waiting to see who's head rolls first.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman