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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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Input Overload

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I'm writing to my MP today regarding my feeling on this proposed legislation which is my democratic right to do - If enough voters do this maybe we will get what we want, whatever that may be. (I have never done this before)

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Flak999

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johndrew

I must say you have more faith in our politicians doing the right thing than I. Consider for one moment the lies we have been fed over the years, ranging from the bloody Sunday killing of 13 unarmed civilians whitewashed by Lord Chief justice Widgery's enquiry in the 1970's to the dodgy dossier leading up to the Iraq war, when Blair told us we were all within 15 minutes of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction!

Now in the present day the case of Binyam Mohammed who was the subject of extraordinary rendition and torture which our security services were complicit in. Indeed a ruling by Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls that the Security Service had failed to respect human rights, deliberately misled parliament, and had a "culture of suppression" that undermined government assurances about its conduct.

We have the RIPA (regulation of investigatory powers act)which has been dubbed a snoopers charter by civil rights and privacy campaigners, the Government now want to go further with the legislation we are now talking about, and also holding certain court cases in private. It is a slow insidious undermining of our basic freedoms and liberties.

All of these laws and statutes are being enacted under a relatively benign administration, but what of the future? Say the unimaginable happened and we had a Government of the far right/left in power, what then? What if there was mass civil unrest as we saw last year but on a worse scale, and new draconian legislation brought in for the state of emergency.

Our security services could very easily be used as an arm of state repression just like the Gestapo or the NKVD.

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john bunyan

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I think a hint of paranoia is creeping in. Lighten up a bit. This reminds me a bit of the height of the Cold War where some were digging shelters and worrying about MAD . I do not know why but it never bothered me as much as when I was actually in London during the Blitz. Similarly now,this thing will sort itself out as pressure to modify it mounts.

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morddwyd

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"some were digging shelters and worrying about MAD . I do not know why but it never bothered me as much as when I was actually in London during the Blitz."

Of course not, because you were directly involved in the blitz, but not in the Cold War.

If you had been on standby with your fallout suit readily to hand during Cuban Missile Crisis you'd have been bothered.

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flycatcher1

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Anyone who was not worried during the Cuban Missile Crisis was not aware of the danger the world was facing. Sitting in my Vulcan on Quick Reaction Alert I was concerned and not a little worried. A deterrent only works when it does - luckily it did.

In the case of Binyam Mohammed I wonder if he was ever concerned with our Human Rights.

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Forum Editor

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johndrew

"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."

Security is often an illusion, and our "generally trustworthy" political system has revealed itself to be exactly the opposite on many occasions in the past - I suggest you rely less on your sense of security and more on historical facts.

The truth of course is that our political system has evolved over a long time from a loosely assembled set of tenets, one of which is that government is based on the will of the people - we are quite literally the highest authority in the country. When a government proposes a course of action which seeks to limit a basic freedom of a democratic nation it must listen carefully to what we, the people have to say. The right to associate freely with others is one of the central tenets of a democracy, and in my view 'associate' includes 'communicate' - we should be allowed to talk freely to one another, and to do so privately if we wish, free from the possibility of government surveillance.

It may be the case that we, the people have nothing to say in response to these proposals, in which case the government is at liberty to go ahead. My opinion is that we have plenty to say however, and the government is apparently (now) aware of the fact.

Trustworthiness is something that must be demonstrated, rather than taken for granted, and where this government is concerned that process is still a work in progress. There's no political ideology at work in what I say - I would be critical of any government which made similar proposals.

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morddwyd

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Trust has to be earned.

This government, any many previous, have not earned it.

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john bunyan

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morddwyd, flycatcer1

Like you I was involved during the Cuban missile crisis - as it happens it would have involved still classified possible operations against the USSR of a covert nature. Nevertheless maybe I have a fatalistic view along the lines of "you have to die sometime" . Some worry about flying but life is full of hazards if you look for them.

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Forum Editor

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By way of an update......

The hacking group Anonymous is alleged to have blocked the Home Office website tonight, apparently in response to government plans for email surveillance.

I just tried to load www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ and was unable to do so.

According to the BBC a Home Office spokesman said "If a successful denial of service attempt does occur tonight, we will liaise with the technical team and update as necessary,"

I suggest they liaise fairly urgently, because a successful attempt has occurred.

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finerty

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The thing is the olympics is getting closer and closer, so it happens maybe the British Gov wants to find out wants going on around them as a precaution and maybe because relations between the fbi and MI5 and MI6 have not been going so well.

However the Tory;'s are not very Kosher when they say you can trust them, in the past they have eves dropped on the trade unions and eves dropped on anyone who decided to to join a trade union to spy. Having said that in the past Tory's have planted listening devices in the Labour offices.

Now the is on terrorism. I also know it was involved when the old IRA were around and still are around regardless of who says what.

The Vietnam war finished ages ago ad the americans lost that one.

And yet the gov has'nt been very clear how this spying will take place. Yes there is a lot of gun crime, gang crime and the spying does have its benefits and its downfalls as in the Innocent being charged for something where a sophisticated hacker has planted info onto a pc.

The trouble is when does it go to far, and who monitors the gov spy's and law enforcement, when they can get carried away. News of the world, who will monitor those who have the power to monitor. There could a group today that is a governing body, but what happens when the governing body disappears or controlled by the spyers.

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