David Davis tells El Reg that Labour is 'mesmerised' by tech
Liberties sacrificed for 'an illusion'
Interview As polling day approaches for the Howden and Haltemprice by-election, voters and observers are left with an eerie sense of déjà vu as Labour once again refuses to debate its civil liberties record with David Davis.
Just over four years ago, a keynote conference, “Mistaken Identity”, was organised by Privacy International. While the focus was on government plans to introduce identity cards, speakers ranged far and wide across the civil liberties implications of the scheme.
Davis: hopes to kick 42 days into touch
It was Conservative Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson Davis who provided an impressive roundup of the issues. He accused the government of having a poor track record in protecting of confidential information, with the increasing exchange of data between departments authorised by ministerial fiat rather than legislation.
As for ID cards, sophistication was no deterrent to terrorists: since 1986, twenty of the twenty five countries who experienced terrorist outrages have a national identity card scheme and five of these use biometrics.
You want liberties? We'll take liberties
One might expect, at the very least, a junior Minister to have turned up to rebut this assault on a central plank of government policy. But no. Not a squeak.
Roll forward four years.
On the tenth aniversary of New Labour’s historic victory, Liberty issued a damning catalogue (pdf) of civil liberties failings that had taken place under this government. Writing in The Guardian, Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti accuses the government of losing moral authority.
And at the end of 2007, Privacy International’s latest assessment of surveillance worldwide places the UK firmly at the bottom of the class. 43 out of 47 countries worldwide: on a par with Singapore – and a whisker ahead of Russia, China and Malaysia. We are classed as an “endemic surveillance society”.
Still, the wider debate failed to materialize.
So, perhaps it should not have been a surprise that Davis, exasperated by the government’s stance on a number of key civil liberties, resigned his seat and set off a by-election. He wants a debate on the state of liberty in the UK today. The media are happy to give it to him. Leading commentators engage with him.
Yet again, the silence from New Labour is deafening. Or rather, New Labour has responded the only way it appears to know how: by personal attack and innuendo, while refusing to debate its achievements on civil liberties in any forum it cannot control completely.
Speaking to The Register recently David Davis was keen to put is actions into perspective.
“It wasn’t just the ‘42 days’,” he says. “That was just the final straw.”
He explains: “The last few years have seen a continuing erosion of civil liberties in Britain. Values and freedoms that we once took for granted are being taken away on an almost daily basis.
An Embarrassment of Riches ...... can easily Bring Down Brown-Shirted/Corrupt Governments
And to date, as I'm sure you will not be surprised, both HQs are proving themselves to be Totally Unfit for Future Purpose in AI and ITs Total Information Awareness Society.
Here's a dumb question? ....Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that all communications are easily monitored/phished and therefore they are petrified to communicate?
I trust that they realise that that particular problem is easily countered and overcome whenever third party communication is made globally public rather than remaining channelled to them out of public sight.
Does Apathy nest here too?
"amanfromMars .... Actions speak louder than words. End." ..... By Fuion
Posted Tuesday 8th July 2008 17:54 GMT
Indeed they can, Fuion...... which is why CCHQ has alien mail and also why words are shared here.
And whether that be for Action, Reaction, ProAction or HyperRadioProActivity will depend upon the Third Party Mindset and its IQs.
And given all the Phishing Tales that we hear, that would also be a BetaTest of GCHQ too.
I trust that would constitute action by any standard which you would/could apply, Fuion.
Please be assured that one would not be confined to requiring their understanding though, for it may very well be that they are ill-equipped and badly prepared to be effective active partners, although one would love to be proved wrong on such matters.
Actions speak louder than words.