Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A cheap shot

PLANS to monitor millions of emails, texts and website visits are vital to trap killers like Ian Huntley and smash paedo rings, Theresa May declares today.
Writing in The Sun, the Home Secretary says the new powers are needed to “help police stay one step ahead of the criminals”.
This is so disingenuous that words fail me. I grant you that mobile phone evidence was crucial in Huntley's conviction, but internet records weren't relevant to it at all.

The IT lesson from the horrible murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman was of the incompetence of the police in managing information. Specifically, in the failure of Humberside police to pass on suspicions about him that would have stopped him getting a job as a school caretaker in the first place.. There is a specific derogation in the Freedom of Information Act that allows Police Forces to hold hearsay on their CIS databases.

I am 100% with David Davis on this.
EVERY email to your friends. Every phone call to your wife. Every status update your child puts online.
The Government want to monitor the lot, by forcing internet firms to hand over the details to bureaucrats on request.
Whenever a government announces plans to snoop on British citizens, the argument is always the same — it needs the new law to stop terrorists.
But we already have a law which lets the secret services eavesdrop on suspected criminals and terrorists.
When the London and Glasgow bombings happened, the secret services were able to use telephone records to identify the suspects.
In a matter of hours. In the middle of the night. They did not need a new law to do that.
The new law does not focus on terrorists or criminals. It would instead allow civil servants to monitor every innocent, ordinary person in Britain, and all without a warrant.
This would be a massive, unnecessary extension of the State’s power.
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