Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 15:53 UTC
Legal

The UK is about to become one of the world's foremost surveillance states, allowing its police and intelligence agencies to spy on its own people to a degree that is unprecedented for a democracy. The UN's privacy chief has called the situation "worse than scary." Edward Snowden says it’s simply "the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy."

The legislation in question is called the Investigatory Powers Bill. It's been cleared by politicians and awaits only the formality of royal assent before it becomes law. The bill will legalize the UK's global surveillance program, which scoops up communications data from around the world, but it will also introduce new domestic powers, including a government database that stores the web history of every citizen in the country. UK spies will be empowered to hack individuals, internet infrastructure, and even whole towns - if the government deems it necessary.

"Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame?"

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The UK is doing the right thing
by rom508 on Thu 24th Nov 2016 09:06 UTC
rom508
Member since:
2007-04-20

There have been terror attacks across Europe where many innocent people died. If government surveillance can prevent such terror attacks, then I have no problems with GCHQ spying on me, I don't use Internet for anything illegal. I couldn't care less about your "democratic rights" if there is a possibility my family members could be blown to shreds by some fanatics.

Just listen to this hippie bullshit:

"And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission"

I very much doubt that surveillance will diminish your freedom, unless you get caught doing something illegal - selling drugs, committing fraud, or planning acts of terrorism.

Reply Score: 0

Sopota Member since:
2015-08-07

Mass spying on your own population isn't going to prevent shit, hasn't done it before, and now it is no different.
Giving up your freedom for security isn't going to get you either one, also.

The argument "I have nothing to hide" means nothing for an automated, soulless mass surveillance system, you are not a citizen for him.
http://falkvinge.net/2012/07/19/debunking-the-dangerous-nothing-to-...
https://www.aclu.org/blog/you-may-have-nothing-hide-you-still-have-s...

Edited 2016-11-24 09:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

If government surveillance can prevent such terror attacks


Begging the question there. And makes you out to be an idiot to think mass surveillance can prevent such terror attacks.

I couldn't care less about your "democratic rights" if there is a possibility my family members could be blown to shreds by some fanatics.


There's always a possibility. So I guess you don't care about democratic rights at all.

I very much doubt that surveillance will diminish your freedom, unless you get caught doing something illegal - selling drugs,


Hang on, you don't care about someone's democratic rights if they want to blow people up. What does this have to do with selling drugs? You are okay with governments saying they will use mass surveillance for one thing and then be able to turn this onto other things once they have it?

And since you have admitted you don't care about democratic rights if there is any possibility of a terror attack, you are therefore okay when a future government turns the surveillance onto people with different political opinions?

committing fraud


Hang on, you don't care about someone's democratic rights if they want to blow people up. What does this have to do with committing fraud? You are okay with governments saying they will use mass surveillance for one thing and then be able to turn this onto other things once they have it?

And since you have admitted you don't care about democratic rights if there is any possibility of a terror attack, you are therefore okay when a future government turns the surveillance onto people with different political opinions?

or planning acts of terrorism.


Funny how you list that one last, almost as if you don't actually care about catching terrorists.

I very much doubt that surveillance will diminish your freedom, unless you get caught doing something illegal - selling drugs, committing fraud, or planning acts of terrorism.


By your reckoning, China must be one of the freest societies around.

Edited 2016-11-24 10:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

rom508 Member since:
2007-04-20

You are the one who is an idiot! I live in the UK, not China and I trust the UK government to implement their surveillance policy properly and not to abuse it, hence why people vote for a particular government and their policies. If I had my way, I'd use surveillance and anything else to catch and lock up as many criminal parasites as possible.

When the government is unable to control its country borders, or deport foreign criminals and terrorists because this would violate their democracy or human rights, then there is something seriously wrong with our society. This is why many British people voted Brexit, they want their government to serve their people, instead of being told by the EU bureaucrats what they can and can't do.

Make Great Britain great again!

Reply Parent Score: -1

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

You're dead right. This is why I keep my Tiger Repealing Rock on my desk. I know it's working, as I have never once seen a tiger.

Reply Parent Score: 5

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

You should look to history to learn more about what affects mass government surveillance of its' own people does to those on both sides - the ones with the power and everyone else who are all targets. Spoiler Alert! It does not end well, ever!

Mass government surveillance isn't about "protecting" you from terrorists or not having anything to hide. Those are just cheap excuses attempting to justify an unjust self-granted power. It's a control mechanism. For humans it creates a long-term feeling of oppression, which in turn has serious society-wide psychological affects.

Like I said, history is there waiting for you to be educated with. This kind of behavior by government/ruling is not new and the results are consistently disastrous. Whether or not `you` have anything to hide is absolutely irrelevant. Turning an entire population into psychological prisoners neither protects their freedoms, nor protects them from terrorism - especially when its their own government they're more afraid of. Don't let yourself be overcome by hyper-fear and thus make you believe what the government is doing is in your best interest.

Reply Parent Score: 5

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

UK could have impeccable handling of it [which has not been shown until now].

Still, We just need to remember how National Socialism went on blitz and took Intelligence for their own purposes.

Reply Parent Score: 3

daveak Member since:
2008-12-29

There have been terror attacks across Europe where many innocent people died. If government surveillance can prevent such terror attacks, then I have no problems with GCHQ spying on me, I don't use Internet for anything illegal. I couldn't care less about your "democratic rights" if there is a possibility my family members could be blown to shreds by some fanatics.


Please tell me how the ambulance service being able to look at every website I have looked at for the last year can help anyone from being "blown to shreds".

Please tell me how the Food Standards Agency being able to look at a list of every person I have emailed in the last year can help anyone from being "blown to shreds"

If survellance prevented terror attacks there wouldn't be any. The few attacks there have been we always find out the suspects were known to authorities. If they are known then the police can get a warrant to be able to target them specifically.


"And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission"

I very much doubt that surveillance will diminish your freedom, unless you get caught doing something illegal - selling drugs, committing fraud, or planning acts of terrorism.


How about if I don't like what the government are doing, so decide to stand for election? There is information stored on all my internet activity for the last year. Even if that activity isn't illegal, some of it may be embarrassing, or might upset people with particular views. That information can then be easily accessed and used to smear me, eliminating any threat posed to those in power.

Police and security service personal have been repeatedly found browsing through data of ex partners, or whistle blowers in their organsiation and using the details to smear them.

What if some nutcase comes to power and decides to create a list of all members of a particular religion? This can be easily found by looking at your web history and you can then be targeted for whatever inevitably comes next, quite possibly, blowing your family members to shreds.

Reply Parent Score: 5

rom508 Member since:
2007-04-20

How about if I don't like what the government are doing, so decide to stand for election?


What you mean like Donald Trump running for the president and finding out there is footage of him making offensive comments about women. OK lets ban all cameras and storage of video clips, just in case this can be used in the future to smear someone.

Please get over your privacy paranoia and move on with the times. There is already a huge amount of data that is recorded about everyone. I don't need government systems to find out something embarrassing about you, I just need to look at your facebook and twitter page.

Reply Parent Score: 1

delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Your very view point, is frankly just idiotic.

Derp I have nothing to hide, so I don't mind being spied on. You sure you have nothing to hide ? So you don't mind, pictures of your dick being stored and looked at by intelligence agencies ? Throughout your life you have been a total law abiding citizen ? when your were in uni you never smoked some pot ? Or you've never gotten drunk and done something stupid ? How about now, are you happy for people you have never met to know exactly who you are, what you have searched for, your illnesses / medical conditions. What you might have said in your home - throw away comments because you were in a bad mood for example. You sure there is nothing that could be twisted to make you guilty of some crime ?

How about your kids, if you have any, are you happy for them to be viewed nude, for their sometimes stupid opinions to be recorded as fact, for their stupid behaviour being recorded and possibly used as evidence against them ? You are not only dooming yourself with this belief but you are dooming all future generations, from the moment they are born to the moment they die to be under mass surveillance.

I have nothing to hide either, but I sure as shit believe in freedom of expression, to be able to live without surveillance. I am innocent and should have the right to use my computer and phone, without some ass hole snooping in on my conversations. Its like having the nosy old woman, living next door constantly listening to everything I say.

Less than 10 years ago middle eastern, chinese and Russian governments were lambasted by the media for their all encompassing surveillance programs on their citizens and everyone was waving a red flag as this could be seen as dangerous. Yet here we are 10 years later, with idiots like you willingly selling our freedom to feel more secure. Make no mistake this guarantees nothing, but it does remove your freedom.

Has all of these anti-piracy measures actually helped to eliminate piracy, or just wasted the time of innocent people that don't pirate stuff ?

Sure you've got nothing to hide, nothing to worry about. Less than about 80 years ago we had 2 world wars, a totalitarian regime some how managed to fool the mass German population, with speeches about offering a better life, fixing all of the German peoples ills and illusions of grandeur. Surveillance was employed on a massive scale, with neighbour spying on neighbour. Fast forward 80 odd years, here we are again. The foolish again falling for bullshit propaganda about security giving up their rights whole-sale for some bullshit notion that being spied on somehow makes them more secure. That people from other parts of the world are the cause of all their ills and worries, people of a different skin colour are evil, everyone is evil, trust no one, only trust in your government, they have your best interest at heart...

Democracy, where you will be spied on, where you have no rights and where you are assumed guilty. This is democracy, this is freedom and you are an idiot.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rom508 Member since:
2007-04-20

I find it strange how people like like you equate surveillance to mass tyranny and prophesy world war 3. Please educate yourself on how Hitler and National Socialism came to power. This was due to political and economic upheavals that plunged Germany into chaos, not because German people gave up their rights. Once you have a dictator in power then anything can be used to oppress people - surveillance, police, jails, army, use of force and guns, and so on. Your democratic rights and freedoms can evaporate in a very short time, and no amount of blogging, lobbying and demonstrating will be able to bring those rights back, hence you could end up with a civil war. Nothing really guarantees that your democracy and freedom will always exist, because democracy can always turn on you and people can democratically vote for someone like Hitler and the new National Socialism. Wonder how Donald Trump got to power?

If you are worried about the rise of National Socialism and extreme ideology, then you need to worry about the government who do not not listen to its people and fail to improve their peoples' lives. When you have uncontrolled immigration, fear of crime/terrorism, low wages and stagnant economy, then people start voting for someone who has extreme views and promises to fix all their problems.

I would much rather have a sane government with proper surveillance and strong counter terrorism programs, as opposed to having some liberal tossers like Jeremy Corbyn who will plunge the country into chaos and destroy UK intelligence and military apparatus.

Reply Parent Score: 1