Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Councils warned over spying laws

Councils warned over spying laws (BBC News, Monday, 23 June 2008)
I don't think councils are abusing their powers, but there have been one or two instances... where it could be said that perhaps some of the offences being investigated were too trivial to be using surveillance techniques.

There were offences even more trivial than those mentioned in the article? What would those be? Saying 'outwith' in place of 'beyond'? Changing a roll of toilet paper with the sheet hanging against the wall? Supporting the French football team?

Don't be fooled by death-penalty supporter David Davis. The Tories don't really give a damn either that Britain has become a surveillance state.

Social survey

An interviewer from National Statistics called the other day. Whether I could please make an appointment. I told him it was against my principles to cooperate with surveys. Too much information is collected by the authorities as it is, and they're particularly bad at keeping confidential data confidential.

He then asked whether there was anyone else living at the same address whom he could interview. After I refused to answer even this, he left without saying anything more, visibly annoyed that anyone would be less inclined to reveal private information to a total stranger than to their hairdresser.

It will be compulsory to take part in the 2011 census if one would be asked to do so. However, taking part in any other survey is not. Now, why would one take part? For the common good? Giving blood or helping an old lady cross the street is a lot more commendable.

A last thought: One should be wary to have one's house advertise any more information than the house number. For example, one's name can be used by creeps from TVL/BBC. In the past two years I've received dozens of their letters, which I've been throwing away unopened, as my name is not "Legal Occupier".

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Public 'need to see justice done'

Public 'need to see justice done' (BBC News, Wednesday, 18 June 2008)

Criminals' punishment needs to be much more "visible"

Put them in the stocks and pelt them with rotten eggs and tomatoes!

We're all a little tired of hearing about the human rights and civil liberties of people who break the law.

This nutter, appointed by Tony Blair in 2005 "to put respect back into British life", pretty much sums up NuLabour's position on human rights. With socialists like that, who needs fascists.

However, she said she did not want to "see this debate trivialised [...]"

Thank goodness.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

PM hits back over civil liberties

PM hits back over civil liberties (BBC News, Tuesday, 17 June 2008)

Our PM is seriously off his rocker. It is instructive to play the video and hear the doublespeak drivel first-hand.

and the increasing complexity of plots

In other words, it's too complex for us common folk to understand.

networks spanning the globe

It is widely known that al-Qaida operates in networks that are much more decentralised than a few years ago, and it is the absence rather that the presence of global networks that makes regional terror cells so difficult to unravel before they strike. Brown has it backwards here.

people do appreciate the complexity of the issue

Yes, keep stressing "complexity". We are so stupid are we?

changing world

The inalienable human rights we thought we were entitled to belonged to another world, before it changed. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.

longer pre-detention charge

The fool means "pre-charge detention". Perhaps he originally meant to reduce the detention limit to 24 days, but got that backwards as well.

something which would in the end harm all of our civil liberties

I think Gordon Brown means to say that a successful terrorist attack would harm our civil liberties. So, we should thank him for protecting our civil liberties. I'm glad we have cleared that up.

civil liberties of a person detained

Any detention of an innocent person by definition violates his civil liberties. No "oversight by the judiciary, parliamentary scrutiny, independent review, [...]" can change that. If someone is clearly guilty, let him be charged. Everything else violates fundamental human rights.

'terror' update

My expectation that the matter would soon be forgotten was proven wrong, although I had to look hard to find this, as it was classified as regional Nottinghamshire news:

Former terror suspect given bail (BBC News, Tuesday, 17 June 2008)

Some of the comments by the 'former terror suspect' are heart-warming. Notwithstanding our government, feelings of solidarity and common decency still exist.

The comments by the other 'former terror suspect' are also informative, at:

Terror vote 'will be very tight' (BBC News, Tuesday, 10 June 2008)

A small victory for human rights:

'Lyrical terrorist' wins appeal (BBC News, Tuesday, 17 June 2008)

Internet meltdown

Victim of its own success (BBC Today, Tuesday, 17 June 2008)
But one of the world's leading academics on the impact of the net warns we could be facing its destruction.

Remember The Onion had it first: Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash (ONN, July 2007)

Then: Over Logging (South Park, Season 12, Episode 6)

One expert claims the internet is facing meltdown? I know ten experts who claim the BBC News site is filled with alarmist bollocks.

See also: Moore confessions: Internet meltdown (The Guardian, April 15, 2008)

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

habeas corpus suspended

Brown wins crunch vote on 42 days (BBC News, Wednesday, 11 June 2008)

It is now official: Britain has become a third-rate banana republic. Apart from the 42 day detention limit itself, the process that led to it, which included horsetrading, bribery, extortion, and plain old lying, should take away any illusion that Britain is still a democracy.

Key points: Terror detention vote (BBC News, Wednesday, 11 June 2008)

1244: Opening the debate Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says it is possible to safeguard civil liberties and rights and to protect people. She tells MPs the threat is more complex and international than ever before as terrorists use technology to cover their tracks.

Do the police now have to solve Rubik's Cube before they are able to tell whether someone has done something bad?

With strong passwords and state-of-the-art cryptosystems with 256-bit keys, all the energy in the universe is insufficient for cryptanalysis. Whether the police is given 42 days or 42 millennia is inconsequential. If code breaking is the argument, why allow any limit on pre-charge detention at all?

The choice of 42 days rather than 41 or 43 is truly bizarre. Did Jacqui Smith derive her sense of reality from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? I would not be surprised. See also: Their answer is 42. What, exactly, is the question? (The Herald, June 04 2008)

1257: Ms Smith says she and her minister Tony McNulty have been working on proposals for the best part of a year - and denies proposing a permanent, automatic or immediate detention beyond 28 days. She says the bill contains a reserve power only to be used in exceptional circumstances - with strong safeguards and for a temporary period.

If there are no permanent exceptional circumstances, then what is the justification for all the draconian legislation introduced in the last few years by these NuLab gits?

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Women demand equal opportunities

Women demand equal opportunities – to blow themselves to smithereens (The Scotsman, 02 June 2008)

Poignant headers like this are unprofessional, ... and spoil all the fun for us bloggers.