Category Archives: politics

The end of (British) privacy

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As the dust settles in Paris after the attack on “Charlie Hebdo”, politics in Britain returns to posturing as normal. Cameron states that the Tory Manifesto for the General Election in May will include promises to increase the legal powers of surveillance by MI5 to cover all communication. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group writes a considered piece on what this might mean. The end of this road is prohibiting encryption for the use of ordinary law abiding citizens.   … » Read more …

Too much power

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The Dark Knight was released in 2008, five years before the Snowden leaks in 2013.  It was on UK TV last night, and I have referred to the surveillance machine that Batman built to fight the Joker. There were stories at the time that the US Federal Government were tapping everyone’s cell phones, and my reasons for quoting this piece of fiction is the conversation had between Batman and Lucius Fox on the latter’s discovery of the machine built by Batman. Listen to the dialogue in this you tube short cut.   … » Read more …

Grandstanding

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The gall of Julian Huppert and the LibDems beggars belief. Computer Weekly report that he is campaigning for a Digital Bill of Rights to be included in the LibDem manifesto.  I covered his intervention at OrgCon14 earlier this year. The LibDems have a serious problem in that they made a number of promises which they have broken, most obviously on tuition fees, but others have problems with some of the government reforms on welfare, the bedrom tax, and judicial administration, the introduction of secret courts for cases involving intelligence material. In the policy area of surveillance and digital politics, the LibDems are not as strong as they might like. The computer weekly article states that Huppert is looking to mandate encryption and ban “revenge porn”.   … » Read more …

Gordon Brown steps down as MP

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Gordon Brown announces his retirement to the clash of views from the press and the Labour Party. To be accurate, he has announced that he isn’t standing for re-election as an MP. He leaves a mixed legacy, well summarised by the Telegraph of all sites, who list his contributions to New Labour and the ’97 landslide, economic stewardship until 2007, his opposition to the UK adopting the Euro, his leadership in response to the 2008 global liquidity crisis and his critical contribution to the Scottish Referendum debate on the No side.  … » Read more …

London Labour in Europe

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I attended the lunchtime meeting hosted by three of London’s Labour MEPs. They started by saying thank you to the members at the meeting for the efforts made to secure London’s fantastic result in the Euro elections. The meeting was framed as “How to fight UKIP?” The old canard, started by Farage that London is inoculated from UKIP, because we’re young, liberal and cosmopolitan, the truth in my mind is that London’s multi-culturalism is its UKIP anti-body. One of the attendees, spoke on dealing with UKIP, which I summarised in this tweet,  … » Read more …

Going to London Labour’s Regional Conference

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Lewisham Deptford’s delegation to the London Labour Regional Conference, held at Hammersmith & Fulham’s Town Hall was reduced through illness but there were a couple of us who made the journey.The morning consisted of awards, keynote speeches from Harriet Harman & Sadiq Kahn and motions on Health and Economics. Sadly I didn’t get to read the Conference Arrangements Committee report which explained why many of the proposed Emergency Motions weren’t emergencies, were contrary to the rules, contrary to the law or, and my personal favourite, silly. (I might have made the last one up.)  … » Read more …

Campaiging with Politicians

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Still at orgcon14, the first session in the afternoon was titled “Campaigning with Politicians”. I wasn’t going to report this since on the whole it wasn’t that good, but it does set the scene for what may be coming and so I changed my mind. The chair opened the session by stating the session would be best used as a campaigning symposium and not treated as a hustings, he might have saved himself the trouble. The three speakers, Jullian Huppert MP (LibDem), Natalie Bennett (Green Party) and Claude Moraes MEP set out their (Parties’) stalls.  … » Read more …

Labour Friends of the ORG

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Over lunch, I & Claude Moraes, hosted a meeting of the “Labour Friends of the Open Rights Group”. Claude spoke of the European Parliament’s response to the Snowden leaks and its defence of citizens ECHR Article 8 privacy rights. He also signposted the coming Digital Habeas Corpus which being that it’s European legislation will take some time. There was a keenness to take the policies of the ORG into the Labour Party. The countdown to the general election and the Party’s adoption of its Programme in September means that the opportunity for short term changes in the policy are limited however @LabourDigital which is a de-facto caucus is campaigning around its manifesto and the Shadow cabinet policy review is due to be launched on 25th November. We agreed to keep in touch and to use the original google group, founded after #orgcon10 to do so.  … » Read more …

With TTIP, we mustn’t forget Privacy

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This was a two part presentation given by Glynn Moody (an independent journalist) & Neal Deardon (WDM). Moody, summarised the arguments against in terms of their economic effect and briefly mentioned the privacy aspects of TTIP, Dearden spoke of the global governance rules and the side-lining  of the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations  and the developing world. Moody questioned the worth of the economic benefits, and challenged the sinister nature of regulations to be “as simple as possible”, the words come from CETA.   … » Read more …

Big Companies and Surveillance

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This session started with an attack on F-Secure, one of the conference sponsors for over-promising on their adverts and then looked at the difference in response to the Snowden leaks between the US, UK and the rest of the EU. In the US, they are beginning to win the right to publish transparency reports even in the light of super-injunctions and while the so called Freedom Bill has hit a road block, US legislators on the whole are responding to the Snowden leaks by re-establishing citizen’s (constitutional) rights. The problem for the rest of the world is that the US Constitution only protects citizens and that excludes a lot of the US Datenkraken’s customers.   … » Read more …