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UK Government To Revise Snooping Bill 79

megla writes "The BBC is reporting that the Draft Communications Bill is going to be re-written following widespread opposition. The hugely controversial bill would, as it stands, require ISPs to retain vast amounts of data and grant broad powers to authorities to access it, in some cases without needing any permission at all. For those who are interested in the gritty details the first parliamentary report into the legislation is sharply critical at times. This is good news for anyone in the UK who values their privacy, but it may not be enough. Many would prefer to see the bill scrapped entirely." Opposition to the bill, at least in its original form, isn't just from crazy civil libertarian types, either; reader judgecorp points out that it even includes Deputy prime minister of Britain Nick Clegg.
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UK Government To Revise Snooping Bill

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  • by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:21AM (#42250647)

    Opposition to the bill, at least in its original form, isn't just from crazy civil libertarian types, either; reader judgecorp points out that it even includes Deputy prime minister of Britain Nick Clegg.

    So now, even on Slashdot, anyone who gives a damn about their privacy is "crazy"? The Ministry of Truth is doing a superb job.

  • by click2005 ( 921437 ) * on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:30AM (#42250741)

    That implies that someone could undo all this madness induced lawmaking that government has been up to lately.

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:37AM (#42250811)

    ...of the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030 report [], where:

    ...major trends are the end of U.S. global dominance, the rising power of individuals against states, a rising middle class whose demands challenge governments, and a Gordian knot of water, food and energy shortages, according to the analysts.

    [enormous caches of data] will enable governments to “figure out and predict what people are going to be doing” and “get more control over society,”

    Make no mistake, we (collectively) pose a risk to the power of the 0.1% going forward, and bills like this are being pushed through in "democratic" nations worldwide. Sadly we as a group always seem to vote against our best interests, so being aware of the long term trend is probably not going to change anything (thanks corporate media).

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:41AM (#42250845) Homepage

    I'm sincerely hoping the submitter was being sarcastic about that. Because civil liberties shouldn't be a left-wing issue or a right-wing issue, it should be an every-wing issue. It's the fundamental idea of modern democracy, and should never be negotiable.

  • by tiberus ( 258517 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:45AM (#42250877)

    While I would be appalled if such a measure came up on this side of the pond; although we do seemingly allow Facebook and insert any company with an online presence here to do a lot of data collection; I am somewhat surprised to hear about this apparent level of outrage from Britain.

    The U.K. has been monitoring its citizens via a network of CCTV cameras for sometime and they appear to be especially prevalent in cities such as London where we have been lead to believe that your movements are recorded as soon as you step onto the street.

    Has the line finally been crossed?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @12:23PM (#42251229)

    You'll find few people in the UK who particularly care about CCTV cameras one way or another. Whatever theoretical drawbacks they have, there are few practical issues with them, while there is a measurable reduction in crime rate. And the taking of footage of us in public doesn't qualify as a privacy issue anyway.

    But no one can see much crime-fighting benefit in storing everyone's internet traffic for months, while the drawbacks in terms of ISP costs, which will be passed to the customer, are obvious. And this is a genuine privacy issue, since I consider my emails to my brother or girlfriend to be private in a way that my movements in public are not.

    So I'm not sure why you think we don't care about privacy. The UK actually has the strongest existing data privacy laws of any Western country, so far as I am aware. The Data Protection Act was passed in the 80s before the internet and before there was really any need for it. The US has nothing like it. (CCTV gathering is subject to the DPA act, by the way, and people monitoring the feeds have to be licensed.)

  • by andrewbaldwin ( 442273 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @12:50PM (#42251541)

    I wish someone would kill this meme once and for all.

    The source for the "Government CCTV everywhere" myth was a reporter looking at a sample street and extrapolating. A bit like taking the population density of downtown LA, Chicago or New York and applying it to the whole US land area and saying the US population was tens of billions [I'm too lazy to work out the figures but I hope you get the idea].

    The overwhelming majority of CCTV cameras are privately owned (therefore they must be good in Slashdot groupthink) and not controlled by/accessible to the government/police/spooks... Even when they may have captured evidence of a crime it's non trivial for the authorities to get hold of the data and when they do, given the screenings shown on TV appeals*, the recordings are of such poor quality that it's debatable why they're there at all.

    If anything you have more anonymity nowadays than a generation or two ago when a whole army of little "old ladies sitting behind net curtains" and gossiping about the goings on of people in the street was the norm -- still probably the case in smaller communities everywhere.

    If you're really concerned, you have a right under current data protection laws to see/be given a copy of recordings where you are identifiable; not sure if anyone has ever bothered with this.

    Now this proposed bill, on the other hand, is a completely different matter; the level of outrage is a feature of people faced with a first past the post electoral system that favours two parties who are more similar than different -- should be familiar to you too ;-)

    Please don't equate British people with our MPs

    *There's a programme on BBC every month or so where they appeal for help in solving some cases and show CCTV footage and re-enactments.

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