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MSM Gets A Texas Sized Shot Across Its Bows

It’s been coming for a while.  The instant coverage that the internet affords many things – rocket launches, concerts, sports and more besides – has often been touted as a threat to the mainstream media.

Last night in Texas, State Senator Wendy Davis did as she promised and spoke at remarkable length in an effort to prevent a law restricting womens’ access to abortion services being passed onto the state statute books.  There wasn’t much mention of Senator Davis’ intention or efforts in the mainstream media, especially the tv news channels.  But word soon got around Twitter of the live streaming of proceedings.  150,000 people were said to have watched events unfold.

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Sir David Nicholson – A Failure Of Leadership

Today’s admission by NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson that there is a culture of denial in the NHS does not come as a surprise.  In my experience it has been this way since at least 1997.  Nicholson’s evidence to the Commons Public Administration Committee confirmed what I believed then, still believe now and also provided a withering condemnation of his own conduct and leadership.

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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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Phorm For Phones 2: EE & Ipsos Mori Updated

An article in today’s Sunday Times, highlighted by SpyBlog and Ben Goldacre has revealed what the Sunday Times describes as the “discreet monitoring” or “snoop(ing) on the habits of millions of EE phone customers” as they came out of London’s Oxford Circus station. In other words, EE were monitoring and recording the actions of their customers and giving the data to Ipsos Mori in what is, no doubt a potentially very profitable enterprise.

Ipsos Mori was delighted with the results. In a deal with EE — Britain’s biggest mobile phone company, formed in 2010 from a merger between Orange and T-Mobile — the polling firm had purchased the exclusive use of the phone data and the test run in central London had shown its potential.

There are some serious echoes of Phorm here.

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