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United Kingdom Communications Government Privacy Your Rights Online Politics

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

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.

  • "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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:23AM (#47424001)
    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 accomplices in both the government and private sectors need worry about expensive penalties for breaking the law. To use an old phrase, "It is the same way in every country."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:35AM (#47424089)

    Freedom of speech, specifically political
    Private ownership of property that cannot be taken by the government without due process of law
    Right to self defense
    Not being locked up/imprisoned without due process of law in a public trial by peers

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:36AM (#47424099)

    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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @10:49AM (#47424199)

    Freedom of speech, specifically political

    Nope. Not "specifically political." Just "freedom of speech." The end.

    Also, how about privacy? You can't be a free country when you have something like the NSA's mass surveillance.

  • 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 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:06AM (#47424317)
    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 Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:25AM (#47424463)

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


    "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.

  • 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 JosKarith ( 757063 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:55AM (#47424679)
    "Our data trawling has been illegal all along like we were being told but ignored? Quick, pass some hastily drafted loophole-ridden over-reaching legislation so we can't be sued...
  • by jeIIomizer ( 3670945 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @11:57AM (#47424695)

    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 HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @12:00PM (#47424717)

    Democracy without constitutional limitations is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

  • 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?

  • 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.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982