Monday, April 27, 2009

Why Should Jacqui Smith Know if I Watch Porn?

Could someone please explain to me why, in a non Police state, I shouldn't be able to look at perfectly legal websites without the authorities knowing I have done so? If I, like the Home Secretary's husband, want to look at Raw Meat 3, why should she be able to know that I have done so? It's not as if I am married to her, or anything, after all.

But even worse than that. She's going to have access to my emails and texts too. This is 1984 writ large. If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear we are told. If I have done nothing wrong, I shouldn't, in a liberty loving democracy, have to prove my innocence.

Jacqui Smith has abandoned her idea for a giant database, but any retention of my personal data by the state beyond the bare minimum is totally unacceptable. How can it possibly be justified for the state to monitor the entire population?

That's what the Stasi did. We British must fight for our right to privacy and the presumption of innocence.


DespairingLiberal said...

Quite right and very very well put Iain.

I wonder if we could take some kind of direct action, like bombarding the Home Office with lengthy FOI enquiries on the subject for example?

Secondly, any ISP agreeing to take part we should look at boycotting.

Is there any chance you can persuade your politicial friends in the Conservative Party to speak out about this Iain?

Guido Fawkes said...

Waste of time. She couldjust subscribe to your Twitter feed.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith apologised for not knowing that she had claimed for the porn films

Her reaction, however, does seem to take the belt and braces approach a little far


Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this Iain

"cc all your emails to Jacqui Smith

"No government of any colour is to be trusted with such a roadmap to our souls":
Ken McDonald, former head of the CPS.

The government has unveiled plans for a private company to run a "superdatabase" that will track all our emails, calls, texts, internet use and so on. This is an immense infringement of civil liberties, not to mention a major risk to our private data - but it won't make us any safer. The sheer amount of information that the Government intends to collect will be impossible to analyse properly and will undoubtedly turn up false positives while missing potential security threats amongst the morass of spam emails and private chat.

So, for one day, we should send a message to the Home Office - "you want to see our emails? Ok then, here they are then!". We do this by simply cc'ing or bcc'ing every email we send (and if you like, forwarding every email you receive), regardless of importance or content, to

The date has been set for June 15th. However for legal reasons, please don't go ahead with the protest of your own accord. Please enter your details below and we will keep you up-to-date from time to time - and you'll get confirmation closer to the time that the protest is going ahead. Alternatively, you can become a fan at our Facebook page."

Michael Fowke said...

These degenerate Labour lunatics are out of control.

Silent Hunter said...

Iain; I think you'll find that we ARE in a Police State.

I would therefore be eternally grateful if you could persuade 'Dave' to come out and categorically state for the record that an incoming Tory administration would scrap ID Cards, commit themselves to minimal databases which are kept separate and secure, restore our Freedom of Speech and the right to protest including in Parliament Square and outside Downing Street, have a root and branch investigation of the Met, but most of all keep their promise to compile the Doomsday Book of all the waste that has occurred under Labour.

I would also prefer that those who took us into an illegal war in Iraq are also brought to trial - but then, I suppose we can't have everything in life.

Lexander said...

Absolutely agree. Glad you have taken it up. No way do I want or will allow anybody to see what I watch.

Anonymous said...

They are completly Nuts - they just carry on with the agenda of expanding not just the role of the state but it's intrusiveness and control of the people.

Time to Oust Labour ASAP!

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. The apalling thing is that she defends all of these sort of moves by talking about a threat to our way of life Notwithstanding the hypocrisy of this which she is probaly too thick to even see, the simple fact is that any threat we are under is largely directly consequential on the actions/inactions of her and this government.
They never deal with a problem at source - prefering instead to punish the many by pussy-footing around issues. There are numerous examples where the civil liberties of the many are eroded away to deal with problems caused by the few.
Kids get drunk and cause trouble - price beer of the shelves.
We don't know who is in the country - introduce ID cards
We can't control the borders = log all exits and entries to the country.
There are some violent demonstrations - make public demonstration a virtual criminal offence, or one that gets you 'murdered'.
Terrorists photograph their target - arrest or harrass tourists taking a picture of a London bus.
Couple this with the obscene attempts to exempt themselves from scrutiny and you have the most shameless bunch of liars and thieves collected together in one place since the days of Ali Baba.
Count the number of members of this government accused of lying or cheating - it would be easier to name those who are not.

Paul Hampson said...

Good lord I agree. Anyone in their right mind should be very scared about how the Government has tinkered with societies fears for their own purposes. Socialism?? More like Communism. The problem is, the general public don't always associate the way the world has changed to the policies of their Government. They just accept it as a way things have changed. Example: Political Correctness and Health and Safety under Labour.

Anonymous said...

"If you've done nothing wrong..."

A really cheap bit of logical twisting.

It really means "If you have done nothing those who read your electronic information dislike..."

Jacqui Smith and her cabinet colleagues have shown a clear tendency to impose their political beliefs and values by law on those who do share them. Anyone expressing what they regard as inappropriate ideas on the internet will be potentially at hazard while privacy of thought and expression will become impossible.

There are already lots of people at work aggregating data about interests, behaviour, and ideas on the internet. It is the right to privacy which needs protection as Iain says.

RantinRab said...

Welcome to the party. Better late than never, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Point taken, but could you advise what is the Conservative Party position on this matter?

Political Dissuasion said...

It so that Labour can find out what the Tories campaign plans are and if they dig up some smeargate type material, then bonus for them.
That'll be it.

How obvious it will be when the first security breach is announced, because with this Government, the last thing you want is such material being held in hands as safe as Abu Hamza.

Anonymous said...

But the point is that by not kicking up enough of a fuss over ID Cards, Phorm and StreeView, the Government know that they can do anything to us, however draconian, and our only response will be 'What time is East Enders on ?'

The fight back needs to start soon or 'The Lives Of Others' sequel will be set in Britain...

Jess The Dog said...

The key is disobedience in advance. There must be ways of masking your internet usage, hiding your identity, using offshore servers as a cutout or something like that!

Same for ID cards. Defy this bunch of little Hitlers and it will never get off the ground.

This is how they treat your supposedly most secret data - they lose it and cover it up afterwards!

Old Holborn said...

We are all suspects

We will all have to prove our innocence to the 646

We "threaten" the 646 by or "dissent".

They "know" we are up to something. They are watching us. They don't trust us.

Simon Gardner said...

I rather thought “we British” had given up on the idea of personal privacy when the UK became the premier CCTV surveillance state with the very enthusiastic encouragement of the general public.

Complaining about this new intrusion seems very much like shutting the door after the horse had bolted.

And was the film any good BTW?

subrosa said...

Well said Iain and I do hope David Cameron takes note of your comments. Something has to inspire him to show some leadership.

Spartan said...

With private e-mails l use secure encryption and have done for some time (something Dolly and his buddies should've done if they'd had any sense whatsoever)

Signature will remain unencrypted:-

'Jacqui Smith is a ####!'

digger said...

couldn't agree more,and much as despise the tories or more particularly David Cameron and george osbourne,I can't wait for them to get in.

these zanu lab types are more totalitarian than some of their hate figures.

Mr Timney said...

Oooh. Are you going to do a Top Ten list of your favourites ( with You Tube clips?)

Bill Quango MP said...

Jacqui needs to know everything. Do as you're told.

What is so bizarre is the argument to read all emails and websites you visit, could equally be applied to opening every parcel and letter,wire-tapping and intercepting every telephone call and taking the entire countries fingerprints and DNA.

Administrator said...

Sorry this is the wrong thread but here is something for the Daily Dozen Iain!

Unknown said...

She already has - theoretically - access to your emails. ISPs hand emails over on request from the police and home office, usually to assist in enquiries into terrorism and child porn. The position on the content of emails is unchanged, I believe.

What's new about these proposals is that there will be a systematic record of who is emailing whom, who is connected to whom on Facebook etc and that this will be made available to the authorities should it be requested. It won't record the content of emails or of posts, photos etc on social networking sites.

In effect these records already exist in the archives of the ISPs and social networks. The key thing - as with emails - is the circumstances in which they will be made available to the authorities.

pat said...

i think the phrase 'guilty until proven innocent' comes to mind.

Unknown said...

"Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" we're told.

These days I fear having to prove I have nothing to hide.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Iain.

This may not be an obvious police state quite yet, but a police state it most certainly is, and getting worse by the day.

If Cameron could somehow turn back this seemingly unstoppable tide of state fascist authoritarianism, he would he a national hero, if he did absolutely nothing else during a whole 3 terms.

Iain you obviously don't get out much, or have been spending far too much time rubbing things together, in the company of BBC producers.

You are right of course Iain, only a little late. About 12 years, far too late.

We have been well and truly sold out to the EU's fascist dragon. They are only waiting for the first few signs of serious civil-unrest, and there trap will be finally sprung.


Hamish said...

Ms Smith has tried to allay our suspicions by saying there won't be a central database.
Instead ISPs and Telecom companies will be obliged to hold complete records for many years, which the police will be able to inspect.

How? By filling in a request and submitting it to a magistrate?
Of course not. They will have automated access to all the individual databases which they will be able to browse at will*.

In this case, distributed databases will only be as strong as the weakest link. So actually worse than a central database.

* a dirty job etc, but methinks no shortage of volunteers.

Daniel1979 said...

If intercept evidence is not admissible as evidence in court, why is the Government intercepting data from the masses anyway?

Anonymous said...

Ye Gods, Cameron is going to have his work cut out to undo the damage done by the Witches of Nulab - Harman and Smith in particular.

He is really going to have to kick authoritarian butt in his party if he is to put the Great back into Britain.

Unknown said...

In fact, under these proposals she won't know if you use porn. It is about visits to chat rooms, forms, social network sites etc. I guess if you went to a chat room that was particularly focussed on porn, then your predilections would come to light.

I'm not saying these proposals are great, but your attack on them seems to be based o a misapprehension.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Have the Tories given an unequivocal promise to repeal this legislation? If not, why not?

Unknown said...

When I first started playing with computers (err - 30 + years ago) there was a common saying amongst programmers which was "Garbage in = garbage out".

So just make sure you have lots of 'Garbage' e-mail addresses, (Googlemail/hotmail are good for this), and visit lots of "garbage" websites - let's drown them in data!

Oh - and always fill in webforms with small errors in them.

CC said...

Cameron must come out against this as a corner stone of the election.

The economy has tanked so the battle ground has to come onto liberty and the abuse of powers that these people have been so guilty of.

Trend Shed said...

In the spirit of the Government proposals, they should release all e-mails from Damian McBride to Charlie Whelan and Derek Draper and also any e-mail that mentions Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and Nadine.

All internet records showing access by government staff to the Red Rag blog should also be published.

The government should have nothing to be scared about.

Anonymous said...

Up on crosses with the lot of them. Big square-section nails through the heel of the hand. Ow.

CalumCarr said...

Very rarely agree with you, Iain, but do 100% on this one. We must fight this!

Guthrum said...

'in a liberty loving democracy'

Where are you living at present Iain ? obviously not in the UK

jailhouselawyer said...

It is indeed a frightening prospect. And the so-called justification is based on the odd chance by spying on everybody the odd criminal will be caught in the net.

I am not convinced that content will not be monitored. In prison, we were assured that only the envelopes of letters would be opened to ensure that they contained no unauthorised articles. However, prison officers did actually read the contents on some occasions just out of human curiosity or boredom. And, some of the contents actually found there way into prison records held by the Probation Service.

Anonymous said...

You should read up on what's being proposed, while your knee is jerking around. Dropping in Police State to posts may be de rigeur nowadays, but the reality is that ISPs have been doing this for ages - the new provisions which are currently being consulted on (room for a U-turn, then) would simply extend the period which ISPs hold such details for.

The info can only be accessed in the case of an actual investigation, not via some random page of the Home Office intranet.

It's not great, but it's not what you say it is either.

Unknown said...

5 bellies smiff is just like all the other short haired wimmin in the Liebour party. Undemocratic hags.

I despair at how our freedoms are being eroded by people who are so devoid of intelligence.

Dick the Prick said...

Why indeed? Nah, it's a fudge - BT adverts bit propoganda.

WV: nosize? I'm leaning forward

Barnacle Bill said...

Its only NuLabor politicians who are innocent, the rest of us are as guilty as hell.
As for your sneezing on the train, might the Mexican accent have caused a few raised eyebrows?

Paul Halsall said...

I absolutely agree with you.

The Tories could win much of the left-liberal vote on this (and no to ID cards) alone.

Iain Dale said...

Paul, by the way, the answer to your three previous questions is yes, yes and yes.

Anonymous said...

Raw Meat 3 yes, but let us not forget the other titles in the troika: Anal Boutique and Lesbian Lavatory Lust.

RW said...

Iain- are you aware that David Cameron wants to give the entire UK's health records to Google?Would you be happy for Google to know the intimate details of your personal health matters, which you had naively thought were confidential between you and your doctor?

Can we all be sure that our digital future would be safe in this man's hands?

RW said...

"Why Should Jacqui Smith Know if I Watch Porn?"

Of course she should. She's just looking out for her husband Mr Richard Timney's best interests. It's only reasonable that the taxpayer should cough up to keep the Home Secretary's husband's pecker up. Who knows, you might have found some better stuff than he's got.

Dick the Prick said...

Just saw HIGNFY - what was that?

Dick the Prick said...

Cleggy's on Newsnight. Vince done good labouring.

Unknown said...

Quite besides the fact that it is totally unacceptable for the government to have access to emails and browsing history it is also totally unacceptable that they should waste taxpayers money on something so bloody pointless!!!

Unknown said...

Having read the proposals and seen Chris Grayling's reaction to them, it seems to me that the Tories would be doing exactly the same, were they in power.

Mr Pants said...

I am naturally an old labour supporter; I voted them in, in 1997.
In all my life I have never known such an authoritarian government as the one we have now.

Freedom of speech is dead, we are all meant to behave like robots with all this pc rubbish, and cameras are everywhere. Soon we won't be able to criticize religion which is just insanity.

The internet is a virtual rest from the all Seeing Eye, and now this.

You would think people would be rioting in the streets over this totalitarian crap, but they are not, that disturbes me the most. People have become apathetic, as each minute ticks by, more and more restrictive legislation goes under the public’s nose.

This sickens me to my stomach; modern life resembles something from the writings of Philip k dicks blade runner.

As technology improves man just cannot help himself to use it for all the wrong reasons.

All I see is a very dark future.

Manicbeancounter said...

Knowing how well the government keeps hold of our data in secret, and with special advisors like Damien Macbride giving objective and impartial interpretations of information received, I have every confidence in the government having access to this information.
They will natuarally only use it for catching terrorists and the most dangerous of criminal gang members. They would never use it to go on fishing expeditions, to enable smears to be made at a later date on political opponents who may have cause them embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Yes Iain it's called the right to privacy which is inscribed in the constitution of the United States and should be inscribed in a bill of rights that David Cameron has proposed. Please God roll on the election.

Simon Gardner said...

Mr Pants said... “modern life resembles something from the writings of Philip k dicks blade runner. ”Philip K Dick wrote ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ of which I have a very old copy. You are getting confused with Ridley Scott’s movie.

Anonymous said...

One action to consider is to support
the organisation Liberty by becoming
a member.

crimeficreader said...

The silly woman is misplaced in more ways than one. I want to see the back of her and them.

Roll on a General Election.

And please make my vote soon!

Anonymous said...

Please be reminded the system thinks long term, unlike the population and its MSM.

What the establishment do today often lays the groundwork for the future, sometimes the distant future. A time that will have even more powerful computer power then is currently said to exist.

It is quite possible even by todays technologies to trace the movements of every person holding a current passport. The ID chip already exists, some people are already chipped.

We are told that computers can and do pick up key words. However we know that in reality they can read and understand whole statements. It is perfectly possible in the not too distant future for a citizen to be classified undesirable or suspect without an accountable human eye reading or deciding anything.

We only know about new technologies and there ever increasing capabilities, from people who have a vitally large interest in understating, or completely hiding them.

Martin S said...

I have at least 100/200 spam emails to my various work accounts every day. I wonder if I should forward them to Jacqui?

Steve Tierney said...

You are exactly right.

Yak40 said...

Use (m0st) CCTV cameras for target practice as well, add in speedcams too.

Scot Richards said...

Having lived in Beijing for many years I can tell you that every 12 year old kid knows how to circumvent the Chinese government's 'Great Firewall'.

Little known to the authorities there is already a substantial network of 'DarkNets', private networks that cannot be penetrated - unless you are invited to. Darknets make any legitimate work of the security services MUCH more difficult, largely because they are near impossible to find unless you know they are there.

If the government persists with these delusions then all they'll do is drive everyone underground - which will be great for me since I sell the software to build your own darknet. I knew the Labour party had a silver lining somewhere.

Mr Pants said...

Right you are Simon I stand corrected.

I remember people taking the pee out of folks like david icke.

As each day passes he doesn't look like the nutcase everyone thought he was!

I still don't see any evidence about reptiles running things, other than ed balls.

Fausty said...

Yes, I agree that the government will [ab]use this power to hack into Tory emails.

Darned good time to use PGP (encryption of emails)

Don't let them get away with it.

SteveH103 said...

Well said Iain.
In this country we always used to be innocent until proven guilty. But now its presumed your guilty and you have to prove your innocence.

Rush-is-Right said...

"It's not as if I am married to her..."There's a nasty thought.

For private web browsing I use TOR. There's a Firefox Plugin that turns it on and off at the click of a mouse.

And for private email there's Hushmail. Web-based, simple and (so far as I know) absolutely secure.

Graham Jones said...

This Government consistently fails to understand the Internet in any way at all. Even if she were able to monitor everything (and that simply is not possible) where would they store the data? Google only stores a fraction of Internet data and has to have server farms across the world in order to cope. Jacqui Smith would need to fill half the UK with servers just to make a start. Completely bonkers idea as I explained in my own blog posting about this.

The Labour Party clearly has a deep misunderstanding of the Internet - the McBride emails, the PM's YouTube disaster and Jacqui Smith's constant desire to monitor our every move - show how much they don't know about new technology.

Rather than the economy killing their election hopes next year, it will be their inept use of the Internet.

DespairingLiberal said...

The ISPs previously resisted the building up of bulk user visit/interaction history databases within their own setup going back ages, which is what the Home Office originally asked them to do. Now the HO is simply returning to that. It is true they can already ask the ISPs but the material they keep is mostly recent.

Of course, genuine terrorists will use codes or high-level encryption, which we know even GCHQ can't crack without a sustained effort of large resources to open a single email.

So this is clearly aimed, not at terrorists, but at more low-level crime, much along the lines of the local authorities snooping on people who want to put plastic bags in their dustbins or walk their dogs. Plus people like Conservatives and LibDems, Greens and other Very Dangerous and Subversive Individuals.

Perhaps the ultimate aim is to justify a few more well-paid jobs in the Home Office - after all, the whole thing will need lots of "ISP Liason Officers" and "Terrorist Threat from Facebook Assessors" and the like.

DespairingLiberal said...

Note that the highly invasive Phorm (main advocate: BT) - currently under an EU legal challenge - is also being directly assisted by the Home Office, trying to ensure they get the best help overcoming any little objections from the public. BBC story on PhormAnyone who still thinks the UK government is not now essentially a tool of the corporations (and places personal liberty at the very bottom of their agenda) can gain enlightenment from the story.

Blackacre said...

Whilst I agree with you, I am not convinced that the Conservative Party leadership does. They ought to push it clearly - would show them to have changed as I doubt a previous Conservative government would have proposed anything different to what this illiberal Labour one has. All a good part of brand detox.

Anonymous said...

Iain - you are being a bit simple. Jackass just wants to keep an eye on what her husband is watching online...

Mrs Crewe said...

Jacqui indeed I bet thats not what is says on her birth certificate. It is very depressing that a gym mistress is the home sec lets face it they are the lowest of the low and on the whole complete sadists

crimeficreader said...

I read yesterday that she's abandoned her idea of a centrally held, gov controlled DB, but is essentially outsourcing it, as she expects others to hold the data.

May I make an interesting observation of the status as of now?

I watched HIGNFY on BBC's iplayer and killed it before the final credits ran. Having read of Duncan's pulling out of plug and CD, I went to watch it again.

The programme started at the point I left off the last time.

I am someone who, because of using an aged PC for a few months/years, is accustomed to clearing cookies before shut down, as regularly as I put my shoes and socks on (left first).

If someone/some company can provide the data on "who's watching you", I'd sign up.

And let's be honest, if someone is going down the terrorism route, they are not about to send an email saying "OK, gigs in the backpack, let's all be on the delayed 07:53 to Whitehall on Monday morning" are they? They are more likely to "direct message", privately, on Twitter or Facebook or similar.

Do Jacqui or her advisors (I am convinced there must be many & at great cost) ever use the internet?

And how do you effectively police the outsourcing of DB management? This gov has not got a good track record. Back up CDs left on seats in vans, anyone?

Cinna said...

It's somewhat surprising that Smith seems more than a little put out that the public has been privy to her (and her husband's) little indiscretions. I gather she thinks we don't have a right to know. However, she also seems comfortable with the idea that she should know everything about us, what websites we visit, who we email and who emails us. Strikes me that double standards are operating here.

Anonymous said...

this is funny. I shall forward all my spam to the Home Office, perhaps they can deal with it.