Archive for July, 2014


EMERGENCY! ON MONDAY THE ‘ESTABLISHMENT’ HAVE JOINED FORCES TO PASS THE DATA RETENTION AND INVESTIGATORY POWERS BILL IN ONE DAY!.CAMERON, CLEGG & MILIBAND HAVE AGREED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THAT THE CONTENT OF YOUR EMAILS, TEXTS, CALLS, SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES WERE ROUTINELY STORED AND PROCESSED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND RETAINED FOR FUTURE USE.
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR MP & ASK THEM TO VOTE AGAINST THE BILL @ www.writetothem.com

 
Photo: EMERGENCY! ON MONDAY THE 'ESTABLISHMENT' HAVE JOINED FORCES TO PASS THE DATA RETENTION AND INVESTIGATORY POWERS BILL IN ONE DAY!.CAMERON, CLEGG & MILIBAND HAVE AGREED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THAT THE CONTENT OF YOUR EMAILS, TEXTS, CALLS, SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES WERE ROUTINELY STORED AND PROCESSED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND RETAINED FOR FUTURE USE.<br />
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR MP & ASK THEM TO VOTE AGAINST THE BILL @ www.writetothem.com</p>
<p>AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL<br />
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/%E2%80%98emergency%E2%80%99-spy-laws-it%E2%80%99s-never-been-more-vital-watch-watchmen<br />
LIBERTY<br />
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/campaigning/no-snoopers-charter<br />
Harry Leslie Smith<br />
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/surveillance-freedom-data-retention-investigatory-powers-bill

This surveillance bill puts our hard-won freedom in peril

Posted: July 12, 2014 by rainbowwarriorlizzie in Uncategorized

This surveillance bill puts our hard-won freedom in peril

All the data retention and investigatory powers bill will do is put a leash on the human spirit and deaden the hearts of those who desire to live in a free and liberal nation
Harry Leslie Smith theguardian.com, Friday 11 July 2014 16.01 BST
A person writing a text on a mobile phone
‘It will needlessly compel phone and internet companies to retain our online lives, browsing history, texts, emails and intimate, mundane conversations with friends, family and colleagues.’ Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Politicians and the media are wont to tell us we live in a time rife with dangers, plots and calumnies. Since 9/11 we have received a daily barrage of news warning us of far-off countries populated by people who have no respect for human life or our democratic institutions. We have been lectured by newsreaders, prime ministers and security pundits that terrorism will invade our shores and take away our freedoms, unless we allow our state, spy agencies and police departments to monitor us through endless trawling of our meta data, emails and private phone conversations.

Yet despite this epidemic of fear, Britain is still sceptical about womb-to-tomb government observation. In fact, a recent Ipsos Mori poll found 68% of those surveyed were concerned about information being collected about them by the government. However, in spite of this overwhelming distrust by the public, the PM and his coalition, along with the Labour party, persist in telling us that there are dark forces which threaten our safety, requiring the government to enact and maintain this invasive, encompassing scrutiny of free citizens.

I grant that we live in perilous times, but I have encountered far worse. As a young man I witnessed the dark clouds of German bombers swarm like malevolent hornets above this country’s cities in the second world war, intent on obliterating every man jack of us. Today, despite the chaos that Isis, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have created, we as a civilisation are not about to be annihilated by terrorism.

There are more pressing threats to national health and stability than fifth columnists and terrorist sleeper cells. Income inequality, the lack of opportunity for our young, the decline of the NHS, housing poverty, and food and fuel poverty are real dangers to this country’s ability to progress and thrive.

The introduction next week of the data retention and investigatory powers bill by this government is therefore disturbing because it will needlessly compel phone and internet companies to retain our online lives, browsing history, texts, emails and intimate, mundane conversations with friends, family and colleagues. It is being hammered through parliament because Cameron tells us he does not wish to see a catastrophic terrorist attack while he is in charge. I grant his intention is noble, but if parliament doesn’t properly, honestly debate this bill they will make a mockery of democracy and the Westminster system.

For the government to have private corporations store so much information about us without earnest, prolonged debate and reflection by parliament is more than an affront to our country’s long-held belief in privacy, in our right to freedom of thought and movement; it is an affront to human progress. Since the dark ages, human society has fought to remove the yoke of state and feudal control. Freedom is the most sacred burden that all people must fight to preserve. The right to privacy, to worship, to assemble, to be a member of a union, to dissent, to choose, and to love and be loved regardless of one’s sexual orientation, are all at risk if this bill becomes law. It took centuries of struggle for our nation to acquire the attributes of a civilised and just society. But they can vanish in a moment if our elected representatives fail to defend those rights in parliament.

The data retention and investigatory powers bill will not make British citizens safer in their everyday lives, nor will it protect us from terrorists, organised crime or keep our children out of harm’s way. All it will do is put a leash on the human spirit and deaden the hearts of those who desire to live in a free and liberal nation. It is incumbent upon our parliament to debate this bill and mitigate its omnipotence. Otherwise this new set of surveillance laws will be used to draw an iron curtain across freedom and democracy in Britain.


 

Campaigning for

No Snoopers’ Charter

How private is your private life?
GCHQ

Campaigning for an end to blanket surveillance of the entire population.

Why is No Snoopers’ Charter important?

How would you feel if the content of your emails, texts, calls, social media messages were routinely stored and processed by the Government and retained for future use? Well, it seems they are…

Now we learn that “emergency” legislation will be brought forward before Parliament’s summer recess, allowing the state to maintain its access to personal data held by internet and phone companies – despite the European Court of Justice judgment on data retention from April.

 

How can I get involved and take action?

Sign up for email updates

Tell me more about No Snoopers’ Charter

LATEST – 10 July 2014: The Government has announced that “emergency” legislation will be brought forward before Parliament’s summer recess, allowing the state to maintain its access to personal data held by internet and phone companies – despite the European Court of Justice judgment on data retention from April. Find out more.

Background

In June 2013 the Edward Snowden leaks revealed that GCHQ has access to the transatlantic cables carrying the world’s communications, is intercepting and processing billions of communications every day and sharing the information with the US.

This includes recordings of phone calls, content of email messages, social media entries and the history of an internet user’s access to websites. All without public acknowledgement.

The project – Tempora – has been in existence since the beginning of 2012. The leaks also suggest that the US authorities have similarly breathtaking and direct access to global communications via the world’s biggest internet companies. This secretive programme is known as PRISM and reports suggest that the UK also accesses this data. 

In May 2013 the Draft Communications Data Bill was notable by its absence from the Queen’s Speech. It would have required internet and phone companies to retain records of our calls, emails, texts and web visits. It now appears those who failed to make the case for that Bill had already smuggled a more intrusive Snoopers’ Charter for blanket surveillance in through the back door.

Liberty has filed a claim against the British security services for their role in PRISM and Tempora. We will be campaigning for urgent amendment to the outdated laws governing surveillance and an end to blanket surveillance of the population.


'Big Brother is watching you' poster

Responding to the prospect of an emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill, Rachel Logan, Law and Human Rights Adviser at Amnesty UK, said:

“It’s very convenient for the political establishment to close ranks and lay claim to these powers, just as surveillance practices are coming under public scrutiny for the first time.

“To pass this off as ‘emergency’ legislation is disingenuous – they have had months to consult on this – but it appears they prefer back room deals.

“On Monday, British intelligence agencies and the Ministers responsible for them will be under the spotlight in what is set to be a historic case to determine whether mass communications surveillance is lawful.

“This latest move to hastily claim the right to conduct ever more invasive surveillance underscores the importance of next week’s case.

“It’s never been more vital to watch the watchmen.”

 

UK Intelligence Agencies on trial: tribunal to hear mass surveillance case bought by Amnesty
Monday 14 – Friday 18 July

From Monday 14 to Friday 18 July, the British intelligence agencies and the Ministers responsible for them will be under the spotlight in a historic case to determine whether mass communications surveillance is lawful.

Amnesty International along with Privacy International, Liberty, the American Civil Liberties Union, Pakistani organisation Bytes for All and others, have brought the case before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to challenge the UK government’s insistence that alleged operations involving bulk interception, collection, analysis and use of people’s communications and related sharing arrangements with the US are lawful.

Despite widely known revelations from Edward Snowden including about UK surveillance practices, the UK government persists in refusing to either ‘confirm or deny’ the existence of a programme at the heart of these claims – Tempora.

At the hearing the Tribunal will seek to determine, in light of UK’s Human Rights Act:

  • If the ‘Tempora’ mass communications surveillance programme exists, whether it operates within the law;
  • If the US PRISM and UPSTREAM programmes exist and the US shares collected information with the UK, whether that is lawful.

The case is also about the oversight regime for the British intelligence agencies, including the IPT itself.

It is the first time that these UK government agencies, including the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have appeared in a public hearing to answer direct allegations and state their position on the mass surveillance operations as a whole, since the Snowden revelations.

The IPT was established 14 years ago to hear allegations that the UK intelligence agencies have breached legal rights. Almost all its hearings are held in secret. This hearing will be public.

Proof Iain Duncan Smith is about to be replaced by Esther McVey?

Posted: July 12, 2014 by rainbowwarriorlizzie in Uncategorized

Pride's Purge

(not satire!)

A commuter on a train, Sarah Quinney, has posted a conversation she overheard from a “20 something brunette, with a very posh voice” talking about a possible cabinet reshuffle on Monday:

esther and iain

There has already been speculation that Cameron is about to have a surprise cabinet reshuffle. So might be worth a bit of a flutter.

Mind you – if you want a good price at the bookies –  better be quick before it gets all over the internet!

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Please feel free to comment.

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Is IDS about to be given his marching orders?

Posted: July 12, 2014 by rainbowwarriorlizzie in Uncategorized

alittleecon

There is a rumour going round this morning that David Cameron is planning a reshuffle next week and that Iain Duncan Smith will be removed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and replaced with Esther McVey. Is it true? Who knows. It seems to have come from an overheard conversation on a train, so could be bollocks, but I guess we’ll find out next week…

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The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from Left Foot Forward

Mesothelioma sufferers and their families must come before the profits of insurers

Asbestos ncrjIn a move which flies in the face of democratic politics, the Tory- led government has struck a ‘behind closed doors’ deal with the insurance industry – one which, if implemented, would boost the profits of the multimillion pound insurance industry at the expense of people dying from the fatal asbestos disease, mesothelioma.

The cynical, secret deal was exposed following a Justice Select Committee evidence session in May at which I gave evidence.

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Do the Westminster Shuffle

Posted: July 12, 2014 by rainbowwarriorlizzie in Uncategorized

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from James Landale – Deputy Political Editor BBC


David Cameron is preparing to carry out a far wider reshuffle of his government than had previously been thought.

Several sources in Whitehall have told me to expect substantial changes when the prime minister reshapes the team that he will lead in to the election.

The consensus until now was that apart from a few Cabinet retirements, most of the changes would focus on refreshing the lower ministerial ranks. But I am told Mr Cameron is thinking big in the reshuffle that he is expected to carry out early next week.

One source said: “I think it is going to be bigger than we thought.”

Another said: “Last time was a mini reshuffle. This will be a proper reshuffle. Prepare for rabbits out of a hat.”

Reshuffle speculation is by definition just that. Most of the decisions are known only to…

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Ministers humiliated over cumulative impact assessment

Posted: July 12, 2014 by rainbowwarriorlizzie in Uncategorized

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from John Pring@ Disability News Service


Work and pensions ministers are facing acute embarrassment after losing their main excuse for refusing to assess the overall impact of their welfare cuts and reforms on disabled people.

Ministers have repeatedly insisted that such a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) would be too difficult and the results would be meaningless.

To defend their position, they repeatedly claimed that this view was shared by the “authoritative” Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

But this week – in a humiliating reversal for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – IFS published research which included just such an analysis, which looked at the impact of 35 benefit and tax changes on disabled people.

It was included in an updated IFS report on the “distributional effects of the UK government’s tax and welfare reforms in Wales since the coalition came to power in 2010.

Once…

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Vox Political

A Snooper: This woman has been allowing police and security services to monitor your phone and Internet communications - illegally. Now her government wants to rush through a law to make it legal, without proper scrutiny. A Snooper: This woman has been allowing police and security services to monitor your phone and Internet communications – illegally. Now her government wants to rush through a law to make it legal, without proper scrutiny.

No matter what Nick Clegg might say, the Coalition government will be reintroducing – and rushing into effect – Theresa May’s long-cherished Snooper’s Charter on Monday.

This is her plan to ride roughshod over your right to privacy by requiring telecommunications companies to keep a complete record of all of your telephone and Internet communications. While the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill does not include the content of the calls or messages, it does include the location of the people called, the date and time of the call and the telephone number called.

Theresa May’s Snooper’s Charter would have called on telecoms firms to record the time, duration, originator and recipient of every…

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