Articles about civil liberties

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Blunkett and ex-CPS chief turn on Home Office

David Blunkett, who as Home Secretary led the government's push for compulsory ID cards, will tomorrow call for the scheme to be curtailed, according to a report. Instead he will propose that only foreigners be made to hold an ID card. UK nationals should only be required to hold a passport, Blunkett will argue. He will make …
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Minister trashes ex-spook chief's liberty warning

Tony McNulty, the combative employment minister tipped to replace Jacqui Smith as Home Secretary, has branded a high profile warning by a former MI5 chief that the government risks creating a police state as "abject nonsense". McNulty was responding to criticisms of anti-terror laws by Dame Stella Rimington, head of the …
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Spy boss damns government's culture of fear

Dame Stella Rimington, the ex-boss of MI5, said the UK government risks creating a police state with its relentless attacks on people's privacy and creation of a culture of fear. She told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia: “It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in …
John Oates, 17 Feb 2009
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NY policeman plunders US terror watchlist

A New York City Police Department sergeant has admitted he illegally obtained a name contained in an FBI terrorist watchlist and gave it to an acquaintance to use in a child custody case. Haytham Khalil, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge stemming from the unauthorized access and dissemination of information from the FBI …
Dan Goodin, 14 Jan 2009
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EFF wins request for reexamination of ringtone patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to reexamine a controversial patent that covers the distribution of certain types of music files over the internet. The patent, issued in 1997 to Seer Systems, restricts audio streaming, cell phone ringtones and other electronic …
Dan Goodin, 7 Jan 2009
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Private firm may run UK spy über-database

A private sector firm may be given the job of maintaining a proposed super-database tracking the telephone and internet records of Brits. The option of turning over the task of running the planned communication database to a private firm, due to feature in a Home Office consultation document due out next month, would be …
John Leyden, 31 Dec 2008
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Watchdogs decry Kentucky's 141-site net casino land grab

Three civil liberties groups urged a Kentucky appeals court to overturn the seizure of domain names for some of the world's most popular gambling sites, arguing the move is based on "incorrect factual assumptions" and violates Free Speech guarantees and other provisions of the US Constitution. In a friend-of-the-court brief …
Dan Goodin, 14 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

Starlust: love, hate and celebrity fantasies

Guest Column I first noticed Girls Aloud in my local Sainsbury’s. Lingering at the newsstand to scan the papers I registered their sustained PR campaign focused on crotch and upskirt shots. Fred Vermorel No accident that. Not day after day, week after week. More like a set-up between paparazzi and popstars. That’s showbiz! And I support …
Fred Vermorel, 12 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

Hoon: Not building überdatabase would be terrorist licence to kill

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon said last night that if the government is not able to harvest details of all internet communications, society will have granted terrorists a licence to kill. Appearing on BBC One's Question Time*, the journeyman minister was asked by Liberal Democrat MP and fellow panellist Julia Goldsworthy how …
The Register breaking news

Das überdatabase: Inside Wacky Jacqui's motherbrain

Analysis Home Secretary Jacqui Smith isn't known in these pages for the clarity of her pronouncements on technology. And yesterday, as she confirmed the government's plan to proceed with the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), she limited herself to the spin of building a universal communications surveillance apparatus. The …
The Register breaking news

Jacqui Smith trails überdatabase plans

The Home Secretary has today warned that the government will legislate to collect more data on internet communications because it believes it will help fight serious crime and terrorism. Jacqui Smith trailed the forthcoming Commmunications Data Bill in a speech this morning to the Institute for Public Policy Research. MI6 and …
The Register breaking news

Scottish beavers (and Cali cacti) get their chips

As a report from the US Computing Technology Industry Association shows the number of companies adopting chipping for one or more projects up by a third on 2007, it is nice to think that just occasionally, chips and other tracking devices can be put to uses that are relatively benign – or even green. September is likely to …
Jane Fae , 4 Sep 2008
The Register breaking news

Bush makes last-minute grab for civil liberties

US citizens could be investigated without just cause under a new plan from the Justice Department, while those who choose to leave the country will have their records kept for 15 years and available to any litigious attorney. The Justice Department plan won't be unveiled in detail until next month, but the New York Times is …
Bill Ray, 21 Aug 2008
The Register breaking news

Davis increases majority, says goodbye to Tory front bench

David Davis trebled his majority in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency in yesterday’s by-election, though the 35 per cent turnout will continue to raise questions over how much of a debate on civil liberties he has achieved. The former Tory shadow home secretary pulled in 17,113 votes in the election, giving him a 15,355 …
Joe Fay, 11 Jul 2008
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Geldof backs Davis 'For Freedom' by-election

Popstar turned humanitarian Bob Geldof has thrown his unkempt weight behind David Davis' by-election campaign. Geldof’s announcement adds just a pinch of stardust to Davis’ effort to turn the by-election into a debate on the erosion of civil liberties in the UK. However, it will get up the nose of Gordon Brown, whose efforts …
Joe Fay, 4 Jul 2008
The Register breaking news

Brown pledges annual commons debate on surveillance

Gordon Brown today accepted MP’s recommendations for an annual report and debate on the state of UK surveillance in a speech which rejected charges that the government’s increasing use of high-tech surveillance compromises British citizens' liberties. He also said the government was considering subjecting all new UK …
Joe Fay, 17 Jun 2008
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Ex-Sun chief to fight Davis in '42 days' by-election

Errant Tory MP David Davis’ campaign to force a debate on civil liberties in the UK looked in danger of descending into a tabloid farce this morning as it emerged that his only serious opposition was the former editor of The Sun. The LibDems have already said they will not fight the by election in Haltemprice and Howden, while …
Joe Fay, 13 Jun 2008
The Register breaking news

IBM helps Chicago keep an eye on its citizens

Next time you're in Chicago, say cheese. Chances are good your likeness will be captured on a futuristic video surveillance system the city is rolling out with the help of IBM and several other tech companies. Today, officials from Chicago and IBM announced the initial phase of Operation Virtual Shield, which they're …
Dan Goodin, 28 Sep 2007

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