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Monday, 27 May 2013

Say no a snoopers charter defend our civil liberties

After the Woolwich terrorist attack the government and others including London Mayor Boris Johnson have revisited plans for a so called snoopers charter to track every email, website skype chat you make and so on and to make a record of this. All in the so called national interest. Now where have we heard this before? We must defend our civil liberties all be them quite limited after the last labour government had a right good go at them but what there is left must be defended and protected in any way we can. The Tories seem intent on getting this bill through parliament now and Ed Miliband and his merry men of capitalist supporters on the front bench’s of the labour party appear happy to support David Cameron in a clear sign of how a future labour government will play out protecting the interests of British capitalism of course as they always have done. The bill, allowing the monitoring of all UK citizens' internet use, was dropped after a split in the coalition. But Lord Howard said David Cameron had "to act in the national interest" following the Woolwich murder. Labour leader Ed Miliband has said that "if he [the PM] wants a communications bill, we'll help him get it through". Mr Miliband told the Commons earlier this month that if Mr Cameron was being forced to drop certain policies because of "people behind him" - his own backbenchers - then Labour would step in. 'Who's contacting who' The Communications Data Bill would have given police and security services access, without a warrant, to details of all online communication in the UK - such as the time, duration, originator and recipient, and the location of the device from which it was made. It would also give access to all Britons' web browsing history and details of messages sent on social media. The police would have to get a warrant from the home secretary to be able to access the actual content of conversations and messages Home Secretary Theresa May is very keen on giving the police and intelligence agencies more power to access details of online communications where necessary. There is no such thing as a trade union of former home secretaries. But on this issue, it sounds as though there is. Labour's Lord Reid and Alan Johnson and the Conservative Lord Howard all agree with her. In short, their argument is we have seen the classified files and the spooks need this power. Critics - including most Liberal Democrats - accuse them of going native and backing a "snoopers charter". As a socialist I always uphold the democratic right for all individuals to communicate and talk about whatever they like without a government or organisation snooping on their discussions it is hugely anti democratic and lays a dangerous settlement in my view. I mean how far do we go with this? We say ok to this and next everything we do, write or read is monitored. Is that really where we want to go?

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