Daily Archives: April 9, 2012


Glyn Moody writes on the TechDirt web site, drawing analogies between the Home Office’s Communications Capability Development Programme (CCDP) and similar legislation passed in Sweden in 2008: It’s still not entirely clear what the UK government wants to gather — it has been understandably evasive on this front — but it would seem to include things like recipients of emails, Skype contacts and addresses of Web sites visited (possibly even full URLs, which will point to very specific content.) But the details don’t really matter, because this is actually a question of principle. The UK government, like the Swedish government before it, is trying to set up a false equivalence between monitoring communications before the Internet became a mass medium, and after. But the intrusiveness of such surveillance before the Internet, and before computing power was available to analyze the data gathered, was limited. Back then, working out the network […]

Just Because It’s Now Cheaper And Easier To Spy On ...


Andrew McKie writes in The Herald: ‘Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” This sentiment, one of many fine observations in Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas, remains as excellent and true as it was on its publication. So sensible and of such continued relevance, in fact, that it was used 250 years later to introduce a policy paper from the Conservative Party. Admirably entitled “Reversing the Rise of the Surveillance State”, this short paper by Dominic Grieve and Eleanor Laing, then respectively the Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Justice Minister, is full of good sense about the dangers of governments maintaining huge databases on the population. It argues convincingly against such surveillance on three principal grounds: it is an offence against privacy and an assault on civil liberties; it is incredibly expensive and excessively bureaucratic; it is unlikely to work, and even if it did, would not achieve its stated aims. The […]

Why the Tories are wrong on electronic surveillance