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Home Office accused of blocking UK public's scrutiny of Snoopers' Charter

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

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Er, ou est le poulet?

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Dans l'arbre, avec le singe.

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Thumb Up

Ah! Sehr gut!

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Anonymous Coward

Thanks for the memory of Eddie Izzard at his best :)

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Anonymous Coward

The watchmen watchers of course who are watched by the watchmen watchmen watcher watchers who are...

You get the idea.

It's actually supposed to be the electorate in a democracy as they have the power to vote in the people that serve the people and act in ways that are for the people.

What we actually have is 3/2 party system where laws that are not for the people and actually against the people traverse the parties leaving us with no power to stop it or get them reversed at the next election.

In summary politicians are self serving leeches who make the vogons look good.

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The gummint is supposed to custard the tarts.

They're elected, so answerable to the electorate. But in the past 40 years or so, we've gruesomely undermined that accountability by looking over their shoulders all the time. When we put so much work into micromanaging the buggers, it becomes that much harder to blame them for fucking up.

Hell, look at Brexit. That's completely our mess. And we got it by "not trusting our politicians".

Not that it's, generally, a good idea to trust politicians too far. But it's also not a good idea to distrust them too much, because then they can't do their jobs, even if (outside chance) they're genuinely, honestly trying to. Just look at the US, anytime in the past 15 years, to see what comes of that.

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Pfft - you've got to wonder whether or not Amber Fudd actually *knows* what's in that document, much less understands it.

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Anonymous Coward

She's searching it for those elusive Hashtags right now...

(I'm surprised we're even allowed to comment, every other Broadsheet has prevented comments on this topic. The 'new' post Rusbridger Guardian is a shameful imitation of its former self).

El Reg is a lone wolf, in this regard. Great informative article regarding the mess.

She was no better at the department of Energy and Climate Change. Needs to resign, she has no credibility left.

We need someone that has the intelligence and ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists, at the first opportunity.

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Coat

Re: "ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists"

So you favour May rather than Clarkson?

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Coat

Re: "ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists"

Theresa?!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists"

"So you favour May rather than Clarkson?"

Anybody who favours Clarkson needs their head examined.

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"you've got to wonder whether or not Amber Fudd actually *knows* what's in that document, much less understands it."

She doesn't need to. Her Perm Sec will have assured her that they're fine; "these are codes of practice that Harrods would sell you".

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Re: "ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists"

"It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." Who was this, Maslow? Anyway...

Clarkson: "every tool is a hammer."

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Re: "ability to play a harpsichord, not punch through it with their fists"

Depends, how about Jeremy Clarkson? At least you know some of the MPS will get that punch in the face they've been missing out on for all these years.

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Gimp

"wonder whether or not Amber Fudd actually *knows* what's in that document, "

Of course she does.

Does like the other 8 or 9 previous sock puppets who spouted this line.

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"Needs to resign, she has no credibility left."

She had some in the first place??

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Anonymous Coward

"Pfft - you've got to wonder whether or not Amber Fudd actually *knows* what's in that document, much less understands it."

The Home Office could give the Borg Collective a good run for its money. Every Home Secretary eventually "goes native", rolls over and becomes merely the latest mouthpiece for the same old policies and objectives. Which, I hasten to add, tend to regard such trivia as democracy, privacy and freedom more as inconveniences to be circumvented than values to be protected.

The real test of a politician in the job is not whether they are absorbed, but for how long they actually manage to retain any semblance of individuality and integrity.

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly...

Loose Translation: Who guards the watchers.

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Re: Exactly...

That *used* to be Europe, but, well...

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Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

Well done everyone. Keep up the good work and pressure on this issue.

"What's this then? Romanes eunt domus? People called Romanes they go the house?!"

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Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

Well spotted.

Do you expect anything different from a government that is openly considering Henry VIIIs powers to bypass parliament and enact legislation and is planning to set those powers in stone in a "Great Repeal Bill"?

Just in case they need it again to deploy the troops once the discontent at 10% inflation in a few years hits the streets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

Do we even have any troops left after all the cuts?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

We have one or two, but they have almost no working equipment and anything that does work is US built and owned, and will only work with direct authorisation from the Pentagon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

"Do we even have any troops left after all the cuts?"

No problem. The Government will just recruit some psychopaths volunteers and give them black shirts in lieu of uniforms. Possibly also a bundle of twigs to show their authority.

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Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

Too much of the nation's infrastructure is vulnerable and in practice undefendable. You don't worry about the odd riot on a sink estate though God knows that puts the willys up the powers that aren't. You worry when the National Grid goes sideways at 2 am mid February and GPS and GSM are subject to hundreds of 10W jammers. Hell hath no fury like a middle class spurned - cause they knows how stuff works - or not.

You can demand that encryption is weak and record every damn phone call you like, but people who are smart enough to know they are likely surveilled are smart enough to route round it. How long did it take to find Osama? He may have been smarter than the average bear bullet, but how would he compare next to some of the nations' (sic) best gamekeepers turned poachers?

People who sneer at Snowden and label him a traitor are missing the point. The real traitors are those walling themselves in against being called on their own self-interest and public failures - and removing everyone's right to freedom and privacy in the process.

The stupid (you know who you are lady) taking bad advice from the power seekers and turning it into populist sound bites would do well better to STFU; instead listen to the much scourned real experts whilst they are still, actually, on the same side. God help all of us when there comes a time when they are not - it cannot end well so best not start it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

Hell hath no fury like a middle class spurned

They do not care. As far as they are concerned the technical middle class is bound by a sufficient number of shackles to be not worthy of their attention - mortgage, kids in university, etc.

They do have a point - In my student days I did not give a damn and I stood my ground for 40 days against the government security forces (in another country).

I will not do it now. The key word is NOW. It will take making the middle class a class of dispossessed for them to start doing what you describe. This is at least 3-5 years down the road and any one of us who can, will be gone somewhere else by hook or by crook rather than risk our families in this. That is the reality here - we would rather take our shackles elsewhere than break them and do something. The Tory government will fulfill their migration targets - do not worry about it. Not because of immigration decrease. Because of emigration increase.

By the way, what you are describing will happen not because of active action, but because there will be nobody left around to fix the infrastructure and run it. A grid designed by politicians will tank at 2am on a February night without an engineer sabotaging it.

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Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

"Do we even have any troops left after all the cuts?"

Shortly to be outsourced, no doubt.

Idly wondering what a Dad's Army version of la Résistance would look like...

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Re: Stand aside Plebes. I am on Imperial business...

"Possibly also a bundle of twigs to show their authority."

Rees-Mogg ha sempre ragione!

(they'll send him out to lead the rallies while they retire safely to their second homes in Florida.)

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Anonymous Coward

It’s Too Late

I think it is too late – I retired a few years ago and was looking at investments and trading etc., in shares. A neighbour came over to me as I was gardening – and I explained I was retired – they then asked if I was going to become a trader. Is this a coincidence given that of all the possibilities I could pursue they stated trading – they are not officials of any kind.

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Re: It’s Too Late

"A neighbour came over to me as I was gardening – and I explained I was retired – they then asked if I was going to become a trader."

Maybe your laptop was latching onto his wifi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

I don't use wifi from the PC, only for the tablet with occasional browsing. I always check the wifi i am logged onto - and all wifi in scope of the tablet is secure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

Could be just a coincidence

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

I did question if it was coincidence. But then, the scope for any other work is too high, and they are not technical. They could never set up logs for their wifi to log what sites are being searched, and i never used wifi - always hard wired connection.

There are many systems that do not leave a footprint - so without the closure or control of these systems, then opening access to significantly more "officials" will only increase the number of crimes already being committed.

The number of people willing to commit the crime is much higher than you would expect, whether this is benign checking of family associations, or something significantly more serious. I would certainly not feel aggrieved at the supposition that there are unscrupulous people with access to these systems.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

"The number of people willing to commit the crime is much higher than you would expect,[...]"

It worries me when people in law enforcement are happy to break laws for their benefit in their private lives. It does suggest an institutional malaise that presumably encourages such thinking.

While we are throwing sayings about - "Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely".

How Theresa May is wearing her religion on her sleeve is a sign of someone who will believe that "the end justifies the means".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

"How Theresa May is wearing her religion on her sleeve is a sign of someone who will believe that "the end justifies the means"."

Yep - i can't work out if they are aware of the reality of real life, or just don't care. The lack of controls to the access of the data is worrying. As an example, a local police station it was reported in the press that in one instance that "they" shredded documents when a complaint was made, and another, contraband was being sold in the same station and a police officer committed suicide since they were caught. The last one is sad, but it is an indication that reality does not mirror the thoughts of MP's.

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Re: It’s Too Late

"While we are throwing sayings about - "Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely"."

Lord Acton: "All power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely."

The old boy was an example of the way the British used to be - despite being a Roman Catholic (at a time when the Pope had just ruled that democracy, science and progress were evil) he was a social progressive who was appalled by over-reaching politicians. We need people like him today.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

There ARE people like him in politics today. Jeremy Corbyn for example. The problem is he gets ignored because he isn't shouty enough and the majority of the mainstream media are in May's pocket.

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Re: It’s Too Late

You're kidding, right???

The modern day Michael Foot only without the conviction, charm and charisma.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

The problem is he gets ignored because he isn't shouty enough and the majority of the mainstream media are in May's pocket.

He gets ignored because he wants to take the country back to the early 1970s, and the majority of the public still remember that from last time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

Not sure what was meant were the policies of Jeremy Corbyn, but the approach - too much style and no substance ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

> "The modern day Michael Foot only without the conviction, charm and charisma."

That's exactly the point, he isn't charismatic or flamboyant. But if you actually listen to what he has to say, its obvious he isn't a lying toerag and actually gives a shit about the people of Britain.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It’s Too Late

its obvious he isn't a lying toerag and actually gives a shit about the people of Britain.

but equally obvious that the people don't ever want to go back to the kind of Britain he wants. Hell, even the French have given up on that sort of socialism.

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So they expect people to respond to the 413 page document in 6 weeks, yet it will take them 3 of those weeks (20 days) to respond to a letter???

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Anonymous Coward

Well spotted - if we assume 20 days to read 2 pages and respond, it would be fair to give (412/2)*20 = 4120 days for a response, but as 11 years is a tad impractical I think at least doubling the response time would be a good start :)

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Anonymous Coward

doubling the response time

If the text was all version controlled, you'd be able to check the diffs at each revision, and easily spot the bits that had changed, and those that had been left alone, and so focus your attention efficiently.

Could we perhaps upload the drafts) of the Snoopers' Charter to Github?

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Re: doubling the response time

Don't need Github for that.

V1.0. All your data are belong to us

V1.1. Unless you are an MP, you're exempt cos we're sure you are reliable and trust worthy.

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Re: doubling the response time

V1.2 Unless you're not, in which case we'll get MI5 to overthrow any government you might try to form.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: doubling the response time

You've just hit on a very important point.

Lets say someone decides to form a political party like UKIP (if you can call it that) did but on the basis of protecting peoples freedoms and privacy then the government now has the power to discredit any person who is trying to do it while making sure no one can use it against government.

I hadn't thought of it that way.

Sneaky bastards.

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Re: doubling the response time

(soapbox)

If someone does this, its probably going to rival a Hollywood blockbuster as "Most downloaded .torrent"

Also why in hell are we as a society allowing a few people to decide something this important? This is the same Government that brought us classified patents where inventors end up living in abject poverty because they have to start from scratch each time.

IP laws are a total mess

(/soapbox)

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