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Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

Anonymous Coward

Big government is watching you

My understanding of EU Data Protection Law was that it was created deliberately with an eye to the historic misuse of personal data by governments (pre-war fascist states and dictatorships and communist post-war such as the East German Stasi) who used official data to monitor, control and hound private individuals. Current implementations of Data Protection now have such large exemptions for government agencies that we're practically left with no protection from government data slurping. Fine with a benevolent government. More worrying if governments become more extreme...

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Meh

Re: Big government is watching you

"Fine with a benevolent government" ???

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là

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Silver badge

Re: Big government is watching you

Data protection and employment protection were the the reasons that tipped me over the line to vote remain - I do not trust UK governments to not play fast and loose with that, to benefit political and big business ambitions.

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Re: Big government is watching you

You are right to be concerned with the secret intentions of government but I would like to emphasise the absolute primacy of the Civil Service for being the real key problem which citizens need to deal with. These self serving faceless mandarins need major overhaul and reform and to be visibly accountable to the public not just politicians whom they hide behind.

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Bronze badge

Re: Big government is watching you

May I be the first to welcome our new British overlords!

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Anonymous Coward

@ digiman Re: Big government is watching you

I think you may be working under the misapprehension that Government still works as depicted in "Yes Minister".

I think that's long gone. These days civil servants are expected to run around after the government's latest mad-cap ideas acting as bizarre cheer leaders. So, if they were trying to water down the new laws then I'm certain it was only because the politicians told them to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big government is watching you

And you trust Brussels!!?

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Re: @ digiman Big government is watching you

I understand what you say and agree with elements of it but I have witnessed first hand how civil servants intentionally twist politician's intentions and are often the very people who put the mad-cap ideas that you refer to into the politicians heads in the first place. We will not improve government performance, accountability and openness while we ignore the civil self-servants !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ digiman Big government is watching you

Well, to an extent my experience was the opposite but obviously I only worked in one department.

I saw that those who were happy to follow the politicians latest ramblings did OK and those who tried to speak out against it got pushed to one side, or out completely. On the other hand it is true that some civil servants would say "I see your idiotic idea and I raise you 10" and the politicians would often latch on to that and maybe raise it another 10. They'd sort of get themselves into a feedback loop like a bunch of luvvies praising each others performance.

At the end of the day I would expect a good politician to see through that and get done what needs to be done. After all my kids try and push me into letting them stay up late and eat burgers everyday but somehow I manage to say "No".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big government is watching you

I think the EU should partly look back and largely look forward.

With India, China and the USA increasing their large infrastructure projects and taking away jobs the EU should seriously consider evolving to a less confederal and more federal type of approach in order to achieve great things and remain competitive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big government is watching you

"Fine with a benevolent government"

Is that equivalent to "Fine with a benevolent dictator" ?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big government is watching you

"...absolute primacy of the Civil Service for being the real key problem which citizens need to deal with."

Exactly. The referendum debate highlighted the different between non-presecriptive European regulations that British civil servants then gold plated on steroids (if you'll excuse the mixed metaphors). British lawmakers do not have their people's best interests at heart, only their own insatiable lust for more control.

BTW you're not European citizens anymore, you're British subjects.

God save King Boris :/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big government is watching you

"And you trust Brussels!!?"

Over British politicians - definitely. You know - the ones who did nothing wrong over the expenses scandal - or have you forgiven / forgotten that already?

The Europeans have had relatively recent experience of the dire effects of the the all powerful surveillance state and it's chilling effects.

Britain now appears to be able to follow the Russian and Chinese models without hindrance. Great :/ You never know, we might get the odd extraordinary rendition thrown in for good measure as well.

For UK liberation, read UK autocracy. There are plenty Theresa Stasi Mays just biding their time.

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Silver badge

And these are the people...

...who now have control unfettered by the balancing regulation of Europe...?

Roll on 1984...

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Unhappy

Re: And these are the people...

"Roll on 1984"

The value of the pound has already been there today...

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Silver badge

Re: And these are the people...

Snoopers Charter? Full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!

It's been the EU and the LibDems who have kept the Snoopers Charter and it's previous Tory and Labour incarnations at bay. Now we've voted to leave the EU and the LibDem supporters self destructed, we have only ourselves to blame when governmement spying is fully legalised and TTIP in it's worst form arrives on our shores.

I'm considering emigrating to Scotland before they leave the UK. It might be more complicated after they vote for independence.

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Re: And these are the people...

The Scottish gov already have a webpage for possible future citizens:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/9348/11

Alternatively, if you have Irish parents/grandparents, you can go for that option.

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Unhappy

the Briitsh people will keep getting the government they wanted.

Some will say it's the government they deserve.

But as others have noticed the entrenched senior civil servants have a lot to do with this.

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The EU's Data Regulation was always misconceived

When the first draft of the EU Reg was leaked I thought it showed very well why Europe is so uncompetitive. Data protection (apart from data security rules) has done very few people any good and imposes massive costs.

It also proceeds from a strange Continental notion that data that you have about me are my data. Actually they are your data. If you seek to conceal your drug addiction but choose to be seen coming out of a treatment centre, hard luck if the press publish the fact (yes, that's you Naomi Campbell, no doubt a keen reader of The Register: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3689049.stm). It was difficult to explain to US colleagues that private data in the EU are not confidential data, but non-confidential data on an elastic that I can zap back if I do not like what you are doing with them. It is a concept basically hostile to the open society.

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