Feeds

Tories will scrap 'pre-crime' vetting

Won't assess dodginess by beliefs, fave films

High performance access to file storage

An incoming Conservative government would take steps to cut the vetting database down to size and would balk at 'pre-crime' behavioural vetting techniques.

Tory opposition to key elements of the Vetting and Barring process proposed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) emerged last night at a meeting of the Conservative Technology Forum, which met in the House of Commons to discuss issues around individual's ownership of their data.

The scheme has excited some controversy over the last few months, both for the likely extent of its coverage and because, according to leaked guidelines, it is the intention of the ISA not only to hold data on past criminal activity, but also to score individuals on the basis of their attitudes and beliefs.

Tory tech guru Liam Maxwell, who addressed the meeting, said that he was utterly opposed to the use of scoring in this way and that it was "just wrong". He added that while the Technology Forum was not a policy-making body, "we will be having words with Dominic".

Dominic Grieve is currently Shadow Minister for Justice and has been closely involved in the development of Conservative policy on data and privacy.

MP Adam Afriye, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities & Skills stated: "An incoming Conservative administration would be keen to address this creeping tendency towards the idea of 'pre-crime'."

While this comment was not directed exclusively towards the vetting database, it would clearly have major implications for it.

Other speakers noted that dealing with individuals on the basis of what they might do in future lay at the heart of the Government’s Onset programme, for young people – and that the EU had also demonstrated a disturbing interest in such approaches.

According to a report by journalist Josie Appleton, the ISA has decided to put in place a scoring system to be filled in by its army of trained bureaucrats. Items will be assessed on the basis of "whether relevant conduct or a risk of harm 'on the face of it' seems to have occurred".

She adds: "The case worker will examine... 'predisposing factors', such as 'those factors relating to an individual’s interests or drives'; 'cognitive factors', such as 'strong anti-social beliefs'; and 'behavioural factors', including 'using substances or sex to cope with stress or impulsive, chaotic or unstable lifestyle. Drug use, sex life, favourite films'."

The guidelines were leaked two months ago, but have subsequently disappeared from public view. However, the ISA did confirm the intention to use behavioural vetting.

An ISA spokesman today said that it was "part of the structured judgement process" and "one element within a five stage process". He went on to say: "Secondly, as you rightly pointed out, the ISA can not comment on the purely hypothetical situation you outlined, ie what members of the Tory Front may or may not think or what may or may not happen in the event of a change of Government." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.