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Category: surveillance state

2009: A Year Of Lack Of Clue, Lack Of Balls & Lack Of Ethics

2009 nears its end and I for one won’t be sorry to see the back of it. There have been some very enjoyable high points including the Ashes win, the test win this morning, a wedding in my family and Phorm being all but forced out of the UK but overall 2009 will be a year I remember as a year in which far too many people lacked Clue, balls and ethics.

Some might accuse me of being a Grumpy Old Man.  According to the series I am now in the age bracket for being a Grumpy so there may be some truth to the suggestion.  My response to that is that I’m not grumpy, I’m a realist and some of what I see is less than pleasing, often lacking in Clue, ethics, common sense and the other attributes I used to expect from those in positions of power and influence.  Now I just expect self centredness, obsession with protecting the vested interests and the status quo and control freakery trying to interfere in areas where the state has no right to.

I’m not the only one.  Guy Aitchison has written his review of the year.  It’s well worth reading; it highlights other areas where government and authorities have failed or fell victim to control freakery or halfwittedness.

Continue reading 2009: A Year Of Lack Of Clue, Lack Of Balls & Lack Of Ethics

Dominic Grieve: A Good Start But Misses ICO Unfitness For Purpose

Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Grieve QC MP has announced a list of proposals a future Conservative government would put into place to “reverse the rise of the Surveillance State”.

Sounds good but what are the facts behind the soundbites?  More importantly what are the omissions behind the soundbites?  What isn’t said is as important as what is.  Specifically with reference to the Information Commissioner’s Office, a body which Mr Grieve wants to give more powers to.

Those who have followed the Phorm story will no doubt be aware that the ICO is complicit in allowing Phorm and BT to get away with their secret and illegal tests as any other government department.  Perhaps even more so because it is not unreasonable to expect those charged with the guardianship of Data Protection legislation to have a decent understanding of such legislation.

Mr Grieve has failed to understand the Information Commissioner’s Office complicity.  Perhaps he doesn’t know about it.

Continue reading Dominic Grieve: A Good Start But Misses ICO Unfitness For Purpose

Met Amends Advice To Stop Police Harassing Photographers

Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.

The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place. Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism.

Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search.

Continue reading Met Amends Advice To Stop Police Harassing Photographers