Shrewd Mammal

I guess I will be using Royal Mail now…

Posted on: August 14, 2008

I think the days of email are fast disappearing into the sunset, much like Peter Andre’s career…I nearly did a George Bush (sans Pretzel) when I read this little nugget, squirreled away on the Times Online site the other day…

Hold your noses whilst I quote the salient points of this article for you…

Councils and health authorities are to be given the right to access e-mail and Internet records under surveillance powers to be introduced next year, the Home Office said yesterday.

Although first proposed to tackle terrorism and serious crime, powers have been extended to cover other criminal activity, public health, threats to public safety and even prevention of self-harm….

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “Ministers have proven time and time again that they are not to be trusted with sensitive data, but they seem intent on pressing ahead with this snoopers’ charter.

“We will be told it is for use in combating terrorism and organised crime but if the powers are anything to go by, it will soon be used to spy on ordinary people’s kids, pets and bins.” …

The information will include the date and times of the log-in and log-off from the internet – the “who, when, and where” of communication – but not the contents of calls, messages or lists of websites which had been accessed….

But yesterday the Home Office admitted that data would be held for much wider purposes than tackling terrorism and serious crime – and hundreds more organisations would be able to access it.

The emergency services, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, every local council, health authorities, the Post Office, Home Office, Ministry of Defence, Health and Safety Executive, Food Standards Agency and Post Office will have access to the information. Since last October telecoms companies have been required to keep records of phone calls and texts. Law enforcement agencies and other public bodies would appoint an “authorising officer” from within their own workforce who approves requests for data.

So now, all and sundry will have unfettered access to your PRIVATE emails, your phone records and basically your life. Given that it has been proven we cannot trust government departments with our data why should we allow this? It is nothing short of Stalinist repression of a peoples right to freedom.

I wonder if we could organise a class action type event at the UN Court of Human Rights to contest this. It is wholly undemocratic, and can NEVER be justified by any number of events.

The days of me using emails have long gone I think….

And now…let me quote you something else that we as a country are a signatory to…

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

So with this legislation we are as far as I have seen in my two minutes of looking at it are in breach (or will be) with several elements of the UN Charter on Human Rights.

I ask this to the people of the United Kingdom….how much more will you take…how much more?


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