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Category: censorship

Government Ignorance, Technical Illiteracy & Control Freakery

David Cameron has proven himself to be as useless and pathetic a Prime Minister as Gordon Brown was.  Politicians govern in ignorance; it is their duty to make sure they get the best advice from the best advisors.  So one could possibly understand (if not forgive) Cameron’s ignorance.  But to choose the technically illiterate Claire Perry as his internet advisor is beyond ignorant, beyond stupid and almost beyond non-offensive pejoratives.

Cameron and Perry are using the emotive phrase “think of the children” and the guise of blocking child pornography to rail through the kind of censorship that would not be out of place in China.  It was typical politician soundbite without thinking through what was said: “One click to protect your whole home and keep your children safe”.  An impossible claim.  One which, if he didn’t already know it, his advisors should have told him it was impossible.

This isn’t about porn.  It’s about control freakery and censorship.  Porn is merely the paint job on this wagon of control freakery and censorship.

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Tinfoil Hats Anyone?

The recent revelations exposed by Edward Snowden about the NSA’s PRISM scheme may have shocked many people.  Sadly they did not shock me.  What the NSA decides to do is its own business, but the revelations that GCHQ is engaged in a mass wiretapping scheme of its own show that the UK government is either complicit in a surveillance society or utterly clueless.

William Hague’s claim that “If you are innocent you have nothing to fear” is the kind of thing that comes straight out of 1984, Fahrenheit 451 or other works of that ilk.  Of course, the news that Ian Livingston, the BT CEO and exec who authorised the illegal and secret tests of Phorm’s technology on over 20,000 BT Internet customers is now to work as a government advisor shows that if you’re the right kind of criminal, you can get a job in high places.  The Spectator asks some questions that Mr Hague needed to answer in the House of Commons.

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Newspapers Moaning About Leveson

Today’s piece by Tony Parsons in the Mirror may come across as a reasonable plea.  I’m sure that every newspaper has had its good campaigns over the years.  Newspapers may well have embarrassed MPs, public servants and high flying businessmen.  (Though let’s be honest, the only time I’m interested in who a politician or public servant is having sex with is when they are a hypocrite.  A typical example is the committed voice against equal marriage who is discovered to be having carnal pleasures which demonstrate their hypocrisy.  I don’t care if people are polyamorous, kinky, asexual or any other label provided that they are not hypocrites.)

But newspapers have also harrassed, demeaned and offended innocent people who have committed no crime.  Newspapers have hacked into the voicemails of politicians, sportspeople and anyone who found themselves in the spotlight, propragating the vile myth of “celebrity gossip”.

Newspapers should have spent their time and resources investigating the corruption in and obscene wasting of money by local councils.  That’s where the real stories are.  Newspapers could have been forces for good in the community.  But they haven’t been.

The total lack of ethics of the tabloid press and the repeated gutlessness of the Press Complaints Commission in refusing to properly police newspapers’ conduct was going to have consequences sooner or later.  That has now come to pass.  Jane Fae writes how this is the fault of the press themselves.  It isn’t rocket science to see why.

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