Ready for the surveilance of almost everything you do?

You’d better get ready – it’s on its way.

Clegg has promised that the bill to permit tracking and logging of email, Facebook, text and internet activities, now removed from the crime bill prior to the Queen’s speech so as not to get it bogged down (the bill, not the speech), will not be eventually “rammed through parliament” when it reappears, but “open parliamentary hearings will be held to examine draft clauses of the legislation.” (via the Guardian)

This is the purest, triple-distilled, bovine ordure.

As we know from the Welfare bill, the NHS bill, and the Legal Aid bill, hearings, “listening processes”, risk assessments,  House of Lords amendments, any damn thing at all – nothing is allowed to stand in the way of what Cameron wants. Allegedly, this is what the police and security services want, which I don’t doubt, but have no doubt at all that Cameron, the ultimate control freak, is 100% backing this.

This guy, for this, and for other reasons, which I’ve covered at length, is rapidly becoming dangerous – this is surveilance on a scale previously unheard of outside of totalitarian states – make no mistake, what we have here is a dictator. He might wear sharp suits, and – apparently – smear his porky self all over with Brylcreem (there’s an image you’ll never get out of your head 😉 ), but he’s a psychopath to his very core.

This as yet unnamed bill will, when passed (“if passed” isn’t even worth considering), will allow tracking of everyone’s email, Facebook, text and internet use** (this is not the same legislation, as far as I can tell, that will require you to register if you want online porn, or even if you resent censorship). It is a charter to allow the police and assorted spooks to spy on what anyone does online, no matter how innocent. It will also allow government to spy on, well, pretty much everybody. And if you think the courts might get in the way of that, think again.

**Twitter doesn’t get a mention, so far, yet surely any nefarious (i.e. not approved of by the puritanical and deeply strange Cameron), activity will take place on locked accounts? Or maybe plod can’t type fast enough to keep up? I do think, though, that we’re going to have to scrutinise closely anyone who follows us before following them back, and be far more rigorous with blocking anyone who seems dodgy. And think twice about having open accounts.

Of course, when the bill treks its weary and doubtless mendacious way through parliament, Cameron won’t be able to use the “It’s a Money Bill, the Lords can’t obstruct it,” (Parliament Act, 1949),  excuse this time, to overrule the Lords, but he still has recourse to other features of The Parliament Acts to ensure he gets his way. The best the Lords can hope for, in general, is to delay for a year, after which period, the Commons gets its way. Or, rather, Cameron’s way.

And you can be sure, that the use of anonymising services, like Tor, or encrypted email (encrypted Twitter, anyone?), would be made criminal offences. That’s what I’d do, and I doubt Cameron and co. will miss that.

So sooner or later, during the course of the next parliament, and my guess would be sooner rather than later, everything we do and say, electronically, will be recorded somewhere.

Of course, it could just be a plot by Royal Mail to bump up postal revenues, but I really wouldn’t bank on that. 😉

And, once the surveilance is in place, how long before Internet activists start appearing in court on trumped-up charges? Paranoia? I wish it were. This bill is only partially concerned with crime and terrorism, a large part of it is, basically, spying on honest, law-abiding, citizens for the purposes of control.

That, noise in the background? The shade of Eric Blair, laughing his spectral nuts off!

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10 thoughts on “Ready for the surveilance of almost everything you do?

  1. Well said… theres a pettion going round right now to stop schools and works offices from demanding passwords from pupils and staff. the petition is based in America cos thats where the legislation is that can stop it as far as i can make out. but apparently it affects people worldwide. dunno how far any of these petitions go to stop things happening but someone somewhere thinks it might work.
    Brylcream…..didnt Hitler use a lot of that stuff? or something similar.

  2. Ron,

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the spooks have been electronically spying and recording us for years, especially since the very early days of mobile phones and/or from the very early days of the Internet. Only now the government wishes to make this spying legal, and probably to get more funding to continue doing so.

    Whenever the British government wants something, but are finding it hard to get, they usually declare the same old same old, that it is for the greater good of the country, usually by sprouting the usual claims of “counter-terrorism” and to a lesser degree, “anti-paedophilia” detection. Generally, the population’s opinion is usually swayed toward the government’s way of thinking. Now of course Cameron can do what he wishes and without answering to anyone.

    Unless he declares himself dictator like Gadhafi, within the next couple of years, then his work ethic will continue with Miliband provided Labour wins the next election as he will not wish to relinquish any of those new superpowers!

    It astonished me just how many of the “Joe Public” that I talked to thought that Labour’s idea of giving law enforcement the ability to snatch someone off the streets and keep them locked up for up to six weeks without arrest was a fantastic idea. Most of these people were the usual Sun readers and would most probably have thought that it would only apply to terrorists. Had it passed, how long before it would be abused by the police & co when they wish to disappear someone?

    The police raided homes of activists days before last year’s royal wedding and imprisoned those who they thought would most likely protest during the procession, then released them the day after without charge. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about it.

    And last years riots didn’t help anyone other than the government as they’ll use that as an excuse to tighten the noose!

    Anyone who thinks that Britain is a free society must be living in “cloud-cuckoo-land” as Fascism and the Gestapo is still very much in existence, just ask Herr Cameron…

    A question for you Ron – do you know if the law that Labour introduced a few years ago regarding it being an offence to photograph and/or filming serving police and military personnel was removed from the “books”? Didn’t the EU declare that law to be illegal and wished it removed?

    I know that there was a lot of protest about it when it was first introduced. There are videos of police officers going onto private property to try and stop people from filming them (YouTube) but I cannot find any information regarding this law’s removal anywhere.

    Of course videos of the police have been shown on TV news many times since regarding their shameful act of kettle-ling and abusing demonstrators in London but it’s one thing for an officer to warn off or arrest someone taking photos in London, it’s quite different for them to raid the BBC or ITN and demand them to stop!

    What ever will the police do during the up and coming Olympics when there will be a huge increase of tourists visiting our shores and no doubt wanting to take photos of their visit to our capital.

    • HI
      BOB. JUST SPOKEN TO A PHOTOGRAPHER I KNOW WHO WAS INVOLVED IN GETTING THAT REVOKED. YOU CAN NO LONGER BE ARRESTED UNDER SECTION 43/44 OF THE TERRORISM ACT. FOR TAKING SUCH PHOTOS
      THEY HAVE TO HAVE A REALLY GOOD REASONABLE SUSPICION OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY BEFORE THEY CAN STOP AND SEARCH AND CANNOT DESTROY FILM OR DELETE IMAGES.,THEY STILL TRY AND DO IT MIND.
      try looking on google for the site “i;m a photographer not a terrorist” .you should find lots about it on there.ok i did it for you..heres the link………….
      http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

        • yes they do try. sometimes.apparently though,most pro photographers now carry the legislation as above, typed on a piece of paper and they show it if harassed by them/ most of the time the police dont bother them then i am told .its the ordinary man in the street that has the bother but if they know their rights and say so most policemen dont bother them. trouble is. , looking at it from a police point of view, how the hell can yu tell a normal photographer / tourist etc from a terrorist. same as murderers./ they dont have it written on their foreheads. most that are caught are caught after sometimes months of surveillance. its a fine line really. between needing protection from evil sods like terrorists and ordinary joe blogs in the street taking an interesting (to them) photo of a copper arresting someone or just sat on his motorbike. we have all done something like that innocently.for no other reason but to put it in our albums at home to look at again years down the line and wonder why in hells name i bothered taking it.lol.~(reminds me, need to find time to go thru my cds and printed photos and chuck out all those of no interest to anyone else or that’s utter rubbish that has only been kept by me cos iiii know what it was,no one else will, don’t really want it now but aint had the time or couldnt be bothered to chuck it out years ago.)

  3. Thank you for the information hugosmum70 and Ron.

    It was such a stupid law to introduce in the first place. If government wanted it to be an offence to photograph coppers etc, then it should have been extended to everyone, including TV companies.

    It was just plain stupid, watching photojournalists demonstrating on the TV news about the ban and then seeing the police officer standing guard outside of No 10 “Sesame Street” in full view of TV cameras and photographers without wearing a face-mask to hide his/her identity. But I guess that’s par for the British Government, regardless of the colour of the tie they wear.

    I already knew that law enforcement officers were not suppose to delete digital images or expose film to light as they would actually be destroying evidence if they thought that someone was acting suspicious.

    Thanks again folks!

    • are you also aware that anyone who is or was a serving police officer is exempt from going on the electoral register?(well thats what i was told by a policeman i knew once) i suppose its in case any crim a copper has “put away” cant find him once he gets out of jail etc…. if you know if this is/isnt true would be nice to know.

      • I should think it’s pretty unlikely these days, even if it was once true, as any citizen, ex-plod or not, can have their name withheld from the published version of the electoral register if they so wish – a decision I renew every year, not least because it virtually eliminates junk mail, but also, because I have a fairly considerable online presence (I don’t subscribe to online anonymity; whatever I write, I put my name to), it makes it harder for psychos and assorted nutters to locate me, should they be of a mind to.

        It’s also the reason why the geolocation apps on Twitter and WordPress are vague, the former just saying Wirral, and the latter “Somewhere in Birkenhead”. And it only says that much because it’s obvious from some of my posts.

        • must admit i renew mine too but for reasons going back over 15years ago,. probably don’t need to now but feel safer doing it. but he said they weren’t put on the register full stop which would also mean, even with the changes since, he still wouldn’t be on the unpublished register either. but your probably right Ron. the government aren’t bothered about our safety and that goes for anyone who is not a Bullingdon boy or comes within the elitist lots confines of society. in other words if not on the rich list sod em, is their attitude.

          • I’m not buying that, though – every policeman in Britain deprived of a vote? They’d never stand for it. I wouldn’t, anyway, and really, if ex cons wanted to find them, there are ways other than the electoral register. Following them home being the simplest option.

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