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Big brother is going to watch us online


Forum Editor
Resolved

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if the government has its way.

"The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon". according to the BBC

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said any legislation requiring communications providers to keep records of contact would need "strong safeguards on access", and "a careful balance" would have to be struck "between investigative powers and the right to privacy.

To which most of us cynics would say 'Oh yeah?'

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johndrew

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fourm member and Flak999

repressive regimes and Gestapo or Beria's NKVD

If you believe we live in a country where the political conditions are so repressive it is intolerable to you or that we have similar conditions to those in pre-war Germany/post Revolution Russia I can only suggest you really need to examine your positions very carefully and compare the subject conditions to which you refer to those presently existing in the UK or proposed with the new legislation.

If then you still consider the UK intolerable I suggest you seek asylum within a political environment you consider more favourable and surrender your current nationality for that of your chosen home.

The wars fought by the UK against the extreme right and left (the cold war also cost lives of servicemen) were for a law abiding, legal and decent society. As a result it takes and Act of Parliament to enable examination of even part of a communication and the authority of a Minister of State to reveal the full content. Rest assured no such Law was needed within the regimes you allude to.

In providing the facility to our security services to access a level of these communications, they are likely to be capable of being used in a Court of Law to prosecute those who would harm our society. Again such action would have been unlikely in your examples and has not been possible in recent cases.

Is it not better that a level of legal, creditable control be applied to enable wrongdoers to be brought to justice and confronted with the evidence rather than attempting to convict these people without the evidence?

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Flak999

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johndrew

Did you read the link I posted? I am not suggesting for one moment that our country's security services represent the Gestapo or NKVD, at the moment!

It is what flows from all of this in years to come that bothers me. We have already seen extraordinary rendition where our security services have colluded with the Americans to send prisoners to countries where they can be tortured. We have witnessed the debacle of Guantanamo Bay where people are held in legal limbo for years without trial.

It is the steady drip drip of the eroding of our liberties that leads to a police state. But that's OK is it? because if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear! Until the knock on your door at midnight!

Is this what you want?

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daz60

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Flak999,

Read your link in post at 3:39,first comment is eloquently put,said it all for me.

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Condom

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There he goes again telling people how they think. He just can't resist himself.

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Forum Editor

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It's already been said, but I think it's worth remembering that if people seriously want to plan an act of terrorism in mainland Britain they'll not be prevented from doing so by a system of government email/text message/mobile phone call monitoring along the lines so far outlined by Ministers.

I could easily communicate with other members of a conspiracy without anyone at GCHQ knowing a thing about it and if the government listens to those who know, they'll be aware of how ineffectual their proposed (£2 billion)scheme will be.

The Police and other security services already have sophisticated intelligence-gathering tools at their disposal - they don't need a blunt instrument of the kind proposed, and I predict that they will rarely use it in earnest anyway.

The scheme is a potential financial and administrative nightmare, and if it ever sees the light of day it will irreparably damage the vital bond of trust that exists between us and our government. We would be better off spending half the money on more people for our security services.....in my opinion. He who seems to spend most of his time in Downing street repenting at leisure after acting in haste seems to have realised what a foolish plan his cabinet has hatched, so he got his deputy to begin the - now familiar - process of furious back-peddling. Nick Clegg assures us that "safeguards for privacy and civil liberties were "absolutely guaranteed", and added: "Let's be clear, we aren't simply going to ram some legislation through Parliament."

He obviously omitted to tell that to the Home Office, which earlier stated that the government would "legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows".

We are being governed by a bunch of ineffectual people who appear to be making it up as they go along.

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Quickbeam

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"legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows".

Isn't that government speak for 'we'll just forget about it then shall we...'.

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lotvic

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Quickbeam, I do hope so. If not then I see it as the thin edge of the wedge.

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Forum Editor

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"Isn't that government speak for 'we'll just forget about it then shall we...'."

Not in this case. A senior Home Office official has stated that the legislation will "absolutely will not be dropped or even delayed". It's a classic case of a government being exposed with its administrative trousers down. Clearly plans to legislate were cut and dried, but nobody had reckoned on the strength of public opinion on the matter.

Faced with yet another bungle David Cameron did what he always does - he gets someone to pretend that there was no firm plan to do whatever it is that is likely to make him less popular. Today's back-peddling was neatly summed up by the BBC's political correspondent John Pienar, who said:-

"Opponents of this proposal will detect the very clear sound of ministers and officials slamming on the brakes."

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Quickbeam

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FE

I've never known you to so much as almost lose your cool in all these years, I thought I was the emotive one here...

lotvic

There's a limit to how may wedge thin ends can be against your neck without a split happening spontaneously.

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johndrew

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fourm member

As arrogant and patronising as usual when you fail to be capable of rebutting truth and an argument.

I am secure in my beliefs which are the result of seeing other countries in operation and recognising a need without resorting to hysteria and a poor expectation of our own political system which may not be perfect but is generally trustworthy.

Flak999

Yes I did read your post and recognised your inference and, presumably, your expectations of our political system. Because other countries resort to practices which are, to say the least, suspect it does not mean that this country will follow the same path - although some individual politicians appeared mesmerised by foreign counterparts in the recent past.

WhiteTruckMan

As you say, times change and needs change with them. We are in an age of electronic communication which removes us from simply opening a sealed letter and reading it or listening into conversations in a smoke filled room. The interception of communication has changed dramatically from carrier pigeon to agile, burst transmissions and if we are to protect ourselves we must change with it.

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