Feeds

Don't trust Tories on surveillance, say LibDems

Cleggs & co promise to give the database state a kicking

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Conservatives do not go far enough in opposing government surveillance and databases, Liberal Democrat shadow ministers have argued at their annual conference.

The party's home affairs spokesperson Chris Huhne said the Tories were inconsistent. "If the Conservatives are really against the surveillance state, why don't they promise to remove the current checks on police surveillance?" he asked the conference in Brighton on 22 September 2009.

The same day saw the party conference vote in favour of A Fresh Start for Britain, a mini-manifesto including a commitment to "remove the bureaucracy of Labour's centralised command-and-control state, and proliferating quangos and databases".

In a more detailed speech on 20 September, the Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson David Howarth said that the Conservatives "only support civil liberties for respectable people".

"It is not enough to campaign about the popular issues: ID cards, the DNA database, the ContactPoint database of all children or even the unfair extradition treaty under which Gary Mackinnon is being extradited to the USA," he said of the Tories. "Real Liberals also campaign for the rights of unpopular people such as the subjects of control orders and those arrested for terrorism offences."

"Questioning authority forms no part of the Conservatives' political DNA. They are fake civil libertarians, and David Cameron is as much a phoney about this issue as about all the others," Howarth added.

He was more critical of Labour's performance, however. "Labour's failure on civil liberties is abject. They have given in time after time to the politics of fear and control," he said.

"Labour belongs to the nothing to hide, nothing to fear school," Howarth added. "We emphatically do not. Information about someone is power over that person. That is why database state apologists are wrong to say that handing personal information over to the state is like paying taxes. It isn't. Tax once paid doesn't hang over people forever. Information handed over does."

In a speech on 21 September, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable repeated the party's pledge to abolish several IT systems. "There is no need for the vast central government databases, like the ID card, the so called 'super database' and the NHS scheme," he told the conference, as part of a list of economy measures he would take.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.