The Draft Communications Data Bill is being reintroduced by the Home Secretary Theresa May in parliament this year, having been blocked by the Liberal Democrats in 2012/13.
This Bill will require Internet service providers and mobile phone companies to keep records of each user’s internet browsing activity (including social media), email correspondence, voice calls, internet gaming, and mobile phone messaging services and store the information for 12 months. Retention of email and telephone contact data for this time is already required by the Data Retention Regulations 2014. The anticipated cost of all this spying is around £1.8 billion per year.
Now there is no doubt that the monitoring of information can play an important role in the detection of serious crime and of terrorist planning and therefore has a role to play in the modern world and especially in these dangerous times that we now live in. I don’t think many would argue against that. However, the Edward Snowden leaks a couple of years ago showed that the British Security Services were accessing vast amounts of information in partnership with similar services in the USA, the implication being that they were doing this in underhanded ways and with little or no oversight.
Some people have said that if you don’t have anything to hide why should you care, but do we really want the Police and whoever deemed necessary to have access to our private texts, either they be flirty text to your partner or just general texts to your children. Do you want your private emails being accessible, your financial details? We are told, rightly, to protect our personal details online at all times from people who might use them unlawfully but who protects you from the state. I don’t have anything to hide but I value my privacy and have concerns about who has access to this information, when and under what circumstances do they access the information, what are the balances and checks. Who gives the permission!
This bill is something that we should all be concerned about as every day our rights are being chipped away little by little. We already have freedom of information but as we have seen this protects people at the top but not at the bottom. The Royal Family are protected, MP’s are protected, Local Authorities are protected, Defence is protected, Business is protected, Health and Safety is protected, Law Enforcement is and International Relations are protected. The only people who appear to not be protected are us, the general public. I think we should all be keeping an eye on the many people who appear to be keeping an eye on us.
Another wee thing:
I watched a bit of the joke that was the Scotland Bill debate yesterday in Parliament. If anyone needed reminding how Scotland is viewed as part of this so called Union then go online and watch some of this non debate. Not only did parliament not debate the Scotland Bill it turned into a debate about England. The various deputy speakers allowed people like Graham Allen MP for Labour take the floor for 45 mins and say nothing, Alberto Costa Conservative MP, was just offensive and as anti Scottish than you are ever like to see, he is the worst kind of Brit Scot who talks his country down at every opportunity.
This debate was a disgrace and made this Liberal Democrat even more likely to vote YES in any future referendum. The simple fact is that Scotland just does not belong in this union any longer because it is not a union, we are so different politically that Westminster just no longer matters in so many ways but is destructive to Scotland in so many more ways. Labour again voted with the Conservatives to keep control of Tax Credits in London while also failing to support no claw back of any top ups to poorer people of their Social Security that Holyrood may implement, a triple wammy. Benefits are cut, Holyrood top up benefits, Westminster means test and claw back additional payments and Scotland budget gets hammered. I have had enough of this shit to be honest, politics in this country are sickening and a disgrace and if Scots can’t see that then the shame is on us. There was no Liberal Democrat representation because Alistair Carmichael MP was in Court for lying during the General Election Campaign. Really.