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UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

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Holmes

Typical Labour

... the bill was a good and necessary way of updating the law ... but the bill's nickname of "Snoopers' Charter" was insulting to the people who work to make the country safer

Going along with all manner of authoritarianisms and bullshit as long as the awkward feeling that someone, somewhere might be offended or made to feel bad by the wording can be avoided.

(Himmler discreetly puking into a handkerchief and asking for a reformulation and more humane final solutions, please)

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Re: Typical Labour

... the bill was a good and necessary way of updating the law ... but the bill's nickname of "Snoopers' Charter" was insulting to the people who work to make the country safer

Indeed. But those who believe they are making the country safer whilst actually harming it should be criticised. If that criticism takes the form of humiliation by pointing out reality, that's unfortunate but shouldn't be avoided. Reality rarely can.

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Re: Typical Labour

... the bill was a good and necessary way of updating the law ... but the bill's nickname of "Snoopers' Charter" was insulting to the people who work to make the country safer

Good! They should feel insulted. The whole bill is an insult. Not just to the people of this country but to the people who work in the security services.

Unless our hypothetical security services employee actually is a supporter of a fascist state and hopes to make such a state reality by bringing about the British stazi*, then obtaining powers like these is absolutely not why they signed up.

Proposing that state intrusion into the lives of citizens on this scale is required for the security services to do their job is an insult. The rest of us are just calling it what it is.

*And if they are, then I reckon we're all free to insult them as much as we like.

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Re: Typical Labour

If they don't like being called Snoopers then perhaps they shouldn't keep snooping on people? And demanding more powers to snoop even more on more people? And then complaining that they still don't have enough snooping powers and need more?

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Re: Typical Labour

Couldn't agree more with you! These politicians are absolutely ridiculous and an embarrassment to the country!

This law is going to be the "final solution" to citizens' privacy. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it. The snoopers will log every URL every citizen visits and store it for 12 months, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Thank goodness I'm already all set and ready for the snoopers, am already running a VPN connection on all my devices. I'm not a criminal and I don't surf on suspicious websites, I just don't want the snoopers to log my every online move and store my life on their servers! It's that simple!

But I guess we better get used to be treated like we are all criminals. Personally, I've been using a reputable zero-logs provider for over a year now http://www.vpnworld.org/ipvanish So thanks to the snoopers, I'm not planning on cancelling my subscription anytime soon...

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Re: Typical Labour

"Andy Burnham said that the ... bill's nickname of "Snoopers' Charter" was insulting to the people who work to make the country safer."

"Safer" than what? We hardly live in a dangerous environment. There are few existential threats to the population or the country itself*.

*Except from the people who want to make it "safer".

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This:

"That also included MPs – which Burnham says should require explicit approval from the prime minister before their communications are intercepted"

Well colour me surprised!

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Re: This:

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

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Big Brother

Re: This:

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Continuing the Orwellian theme ...

Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

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Re: This:

. . . . and family and friends? (You know, because you could imply things from collateral information).

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Anonymous Coward

I thought that as a well, so as not to insult maybe we could rename it?

Authoritarian Powers Bill.

Removal of the right to Privacy Charter.

The forget democracy Charter.

The Labour party are a bunch of cowards who don't deserve to be the opposition Charter.

and for balance,

The Theresa May I have no idea what I'm asking for Charter.

The Nick Clegg we need all the votes we can get because we messed up University Fees Charter.

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Big Brother

You forgot one

Parliament

Orders

Legal

Investigation

Concerning

Electronic

Surveillance

Total

Animosity

Towards

Everyone

*Hint - Read downwards!

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Boffin

Two-headed Beast

Was it Dr. Doolittle's "Push-Me-Pull-You" beast that had two heads? Or was it two asses? Whatever. Seems the UK and the US are playing that game, going in for a bit of first one, then t'other with upping their invasive surveillance powers.

It's all well and good for both to assure the hapless public that "safeguards, legal limits, and appropriate restrictions" are written in the bills, but there's nothing on earth strong enough to contain rogue agencies who wish to push, or ignore, those limits.

Snowden showed us. 'Tis a pity his warnings have served only to accelerate the push-me pull-you stampede to increase surveillance powers.

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Re: Two-headed Beast

Two asses would indeed have two heads.

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Anonymous Coward

Crypto anarchism here we come. The last line of defence against totalitarian democracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Which will in turn lead to electronic totalitarianism as someone seizes power and finds a way to detect practically any form of encryption and squash most form of steganography that remain, allowing for a quick sweep of probably dissidents so that the Secret Secret Police to find all the rest, likely by posing as radicals.

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Anonymous Coward

In which case western society will have collapsed, and we'll have far more to worry about than if GCQH are looking at our dic pics.

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Anonymous Coward

Then by your reasoning western society is doomed either way. Either the charter is allowed the government destroys it from within, or it's blocked and the bad guys exploit the weakness to destroy it from without. Either way, we lose. Maybe it's time to stock up on the canned food and shotguns...

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Anonymous Coward

Middle eastern terrorists are an existential threat to no one.

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Unhappy

"gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

And disappointing.

I think people would have expected more from Corbyn on this point.

Guess they don't want to spoil the memory of Tony Blair, who did so much to get this stuff started.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

"and said it needed "extensive amendments" before the SNP could support it."

Then why abstain? Why allow something to proceed to the next level if it's so clearly broken? Surely you either think it's close enough to being OK so you vote for it, or you don't and you vote against it?

Anything else is moral cowardice of the worst sort in my opinion, is a both a dereliction of their duty as MPs and a gross breach in trust put in them by the public that expect them to DO THEIR JOB.

Getting an 11% pay rise for not actually making any effort. Must be nice work if you can get it...

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

Ouch! If you're that bad that even the Lib Dems call you gutless, you know you really are a bunch of useless, spineless, lily-livered, impotent cowards...

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats. @John Smith 19

I think people would have expected more from Corbyn on this point.

And David Davis. He didn't vote against it either apparently.

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Mushroom

Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

This, from orbit, to the lot of 'em -------------------->

It's the only way to be sure.

Abstaining shouldn't even be an option for anything remotely as important as this.

It must be a binary choice.

Abstaining says (to me) one of two things:

1) "We tacitly believe in this, but don't want to piss off the voters by saying outright YES".

2) "We want to say NO but don't have the balls to risk upsetting future career prospects."

Neither is acceptable from people supposed to be protecting our interests. Further proof were any needed that they're only protecting their own interests.

The data-fetish powertards have already won. Appearing to go through the democratic process is just for appearance.

Spinless yellow twat-faced scum-sucking maggots every last one of them.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

EX-FUCKING-ACTLY!

Why 'abstaining' on issues like this is an option is beyond me. We, the citizenry, pay through our taxes a substantial sum of money to keep the parasites gainfully (Hah!) employed by voting on our behalf on important issues.

They don't turn up for some votes. They abstain on others. Meaning a Bill gets passed through a Parliament of 650 MPs with 281 votes - 43% by my sums. And that doesn't even account for the fact that the 328 or so Conservative MPs are running the country based on a little over 35% of the total vote, which in itself is only representative of the 60% or so of the population that voted in the first place!

That means this Bill has been through the Commons with (possibly) as little as 9% of the vote - if one chooses to interpret the numbers in a specific way, admittedly.

The SNP are hypocrites.

Labour are absolutely spineless.

The Lib Dems, at least, haven't flip-flopped on this particular position as they did on so many for the promise of a referendum on alternate voting systems.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

"The Lib Dems, at least, haven't flip-flopped on this particular position as they did on so many for the promise of a referendum on alternate voting systems."

Personally I blame the senior partners in the last coalition for this. An alternative voting system serves the purposes of only the minor parties, not the Tories or labour. Both will fight tooth and nail to avoid asking the plebs for a decision without a concerted and biased info campaign to ensurre they get their way.

I expect the Brexit is a win-win for them too, which is why they've allowed a large group of their number ot support it.

I'm disinclined to judge any liberal flip-flopping until I see them in power in a majority - and I'm unlikely to live to see that.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

"Meaning a Bill gets passed through a Parliament of 650 MPs with 281 votes - 43% by my sums."

There's a known remedy against that. Serious matters like amending the constitution should not be decided by a simple majority vote - say, 51% of those who bothered to vote on that particular day - but an extended majority consisting of 2/3 of the total headcount. Although this approach has also its weaknesses (numerous ways to incapacitate the parliament) it's a bit more honest.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

"There's a known remedy against that. Serious matters like amending the constitution should not be decided by a simple majority vote - say, 51% of those who bothered to vote on that particular day - but an extended majority consisting of 2/3 of the total headcount. Although this approach has also its weaknesses (numerous ways to incapacitate the parliament) it's a bit more honest."

Except that the British constitution is a dog's dinner of statute, executive orders, judicial decisions, international obligations, precedent and tradition. There is no single document marked "constitution", there are thousands of them (and they're not marked "constitution").

And as it stands, the right to privacy isn't a constitutional matter in the UK anyway.

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

Yep, and this plays into one of the major reasons I won't be voting for leaving the EU - it is the closest thing we have to a written constitution that can be relied on by individuals. I've studied and taught too much Constitutional and Administrative Law to think the "unwritten constitution" is anything more than an excuse for government and Parliament to do exactly as they like (which it is - all that has changed in 400 years is that the divine right of the monarch moved to an elected body (look up "Parliamentary Supremacy" and compare with "the Balance of Powers" if you don't believe me)).

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Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

"There is no single document marked "constitution", there are thousands of them"

For practical purposes that's not necessarily a problem. Rolling them into a single set is a convenience, other factors are mainly emotional and symbolic. Maybe slightly better protection against political games - there would be stronger resistance to making shortsighted amendments.

What really matters is how are these constitutional provisions followed in practice. Including the public perception of constitutional protection. And that's the true problem in most parts the world. Heck, even the late and lamented Soviet Union had a well-written constitution. Seriously. Quite comparable with US and other western countries. No prizes for guessing its practical value though.

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WTF?

Where were the opposition?

Very disappointed that more MPs weren't present explaining the problems and the futility of many of the ideas in the bill. Perhaps they don't understand, or perhaps they just don't care?

It was interesting to hear the arguments about the process that needed to be gone through to access this mass-gathered bulk data. Lots of discussions about whether judges could veto access, and the idea of a "double lock". They clearly haven't realised that this data will become public whatever the law says, simply because data with this sort of value will be hacked or leaked or both. Do they really think that BT Internet and TalkTalk and Virgin and all the others will be able to keep these "Internet Connection Records" out of the hands of criminals?

Then there's the whole problem about what an ISP is: will I need to log my own emails and web access, because I run my own mail server and web proxy? And what are Internet Connection Records, anyway? How much disk space will my logs take up if I do?

This bill involves as much logic and sense as the EU cookie laws: none at all.

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Big Brother

Re: Where were the opposition?

The problem is most MPs and parties have been brainwashed to believe that something is required or the country will fall apart. They believe in some form of new powers "to tackle terrorism and crime". Even if they don't believe every word of the current bill they believe there must be a new bill on surveillance and electronic communication interception.

And the fastest way to get those new powers approved is to let this bill pass to committee and hope they can amend it prior to final reading.

What happens next will be the real tell-tale...

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Re: Where were the opposition?

"The problem is most MPs and parties have been brainwashed to believe that something is required or the country will fall apart."

And they may well have reason to believe this. Wasn't there significant outcry after the July 7 attacks? If another one occurs and the people get the impression the government isn't doing enough to protect them (even in the event nothing could've been done by the government could've prevented it), there could be some very uncomfortable questions, especially at the polls.

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Re: Where were the opposition?

Perhaps the real problem is the illusion of absolute security that the government seek to create in the first place? They've created a rod for their own back with this. They're being fundamentally dishonest with the general public much of the time, and presumably with good reason from their point of view. After all, if people realise that the likes of GCHQ can't monitor everything effectively then they might start to wonder why we're allowing them to waste so much money be pissing £1 *BILLION* up the wall. And a further £1.9 billion over the next 5 years too.

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/e-regulation/gchq-failed-cybersecurity-187406

I realise that this is a loop that's very difficult to escape and the words 'death spiral' come to mind to describe it, but maybe, just maybe, better results could have been spent if this money was directed to something that actually produced results?

Like the NHS? Education? Maybe more police officers? A better fire service perhaps?

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Re: Where were the opposition?

The MI5 boss recently said they are planning another terrorist attack on the scale of 7/7 shortly. After that there will be no opposition to this bill. If the bill needs such an attack to pass then this attack will come just at the right time.

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Re: Where were the opposition?

The MI5 boss recently said they are planning another terrorist attack on the scale of 7/7 shortly

They were telling MPs literally the day before 7/7 that things were all quiet on the western front. They don't have a good track record as far as prediction is concerned.

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Who voted against?

Can we get a list of who is worth pissing on should Westminster catch fire?

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Re: Who voted against?

Well, if you scroll right to the bottom of this page, you'll find the names of all the MPs who voted for and against the bill.

(Also, can we have a quick round of applause for theyworkforyou.com for the sterling work they do?)

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Re: Who voted against?

You piss petroleum (gasoline for our westward cousins)?

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Re: Who voted against?

I've been on some good pub crawls in my time, okay?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who voted against?

Guzzoline for our wasteland post-apocalyptic cousins.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who voted against?

Basically Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru.

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Re: Who voted against?

Let's not forget Caroline Lucas (Green) & the redoubtable lefty war horse of the North Midlands, the beast of Bolsover himself, Dennis Skinner

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Re: Who voted against?

You realise that by visiting theyworkforyou that you're marking yourself out as a political dissident who should have their security clearance revoked, be put on an unemployable blacklist and prevented from organising any gatherings don't you?

There will be a crime prevention order in the post, you are free to appeal to a court but won't be allowed to see the evidence or present a case.

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Abstainers

All the abstainers seem to me to be aware that by abstaining they can say they didn't support the bill while being fully aware that by not voting against, they are allowing it to pass. Then they can have a salve for their consciences and feel they are honestly saying 'We didn't support it'. Le ts face it Labour was just as guilty of the introduction of draconian laws as this lot.

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Re: Abstainers

They will be pushing the "I was not for it" angle.

We should note they were not against it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Abstainers

Labour are just happy that their bill has finally gotten in, it's taken 3 governments but Jackie Smith and her hubbie must be having a grand old time with the porno and champers.

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Re: Abstainers

I can only assume that these politicians think that the general public are thicker than they are.

Everyone knows that those that abstained are in favour of this bill passing and by abstaining are in fact voting FOR it. With this there is NO middle ground, they are either FOR it or AGAINST it. By their non voting we shall know them as lying hypocrites.

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Re: Abstainers

Absolute weasel words here from Labour. They think the Bill isn't worthy of support in it's current form, but they won't vote against it. Instead, they simply abstain and allow the vote to pass with less than an absolute majority on the number of votes, instead only needing a majority of the number of people who turn up.

Andy Burnham (Shadow Home Secretary):

"I disagree entirely. As I said, we will not oppose the Bill because we will be responsible. I have recognised that the country needs a new law. I have also said, as I will come on to explain, that the Bill is not yet worthy of support. There are significant weaknesses in the Bill. I am sorry, but I am not prepared to go through the Lobby tonight and give the hon. Gentleman and his Government a blank cheque. I want to hold the Government to account. I want to see changes in the Bill to strengthen the Bill. When they listen, they will earn our support. That is entirely appropriate and responsible for an Opposition party to do."

I could accept abstaining if the threshold for passing a Bill or vote in the Commons remained 326, not a simple majority of the people in the chamber at the time. When a vote can pass on 281 votes because of mass abstentions, then abstaining isn't simply abstaining - it's effectively voting yes.

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1984 - what else is there to be said !

Except that Russia is in the same boat, Wow democracy is truly fucked now in the UK !

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