David Cameron capitulates to terror, proposes Britain's USA Patriot Act

The UK Prime Minister has seized on the tragic deaths and injuries in Paris as an excuse to terroise Britons into allowing him to pass his Snoopers Charter, a sweeping, badly written surveillance bill that will end security research in the UK, cause Internet bills to soar, and riddle critical software with back-doors, threatening anyone who reveals these vulnerabilities, even in court, with a year in prison.

It's a disgusting, cynical move that uses innocents' blood as the missing ingredient for achieving policy goals that could not be attained through democratic debate. Just as the Patriot Act's hasty, ill-considered provisions were rammed through in the smoke of the World Trade Center, Cameron would trump evidence, expert advice and good sense with partisan grandstanding.

It's the shock doctrine in action. Britain deserves better. Cameron should be ashamed to use terrorists' crimes to advance his own agenda.

In the wake of Friday’s attacks in Paris, UK prime minister David Cameron has added his support to the idea of fast-tracking approval for the controversial Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, stating in regards to the parliamentary procedure for the bill’s approval: “I think we should look at the timetable”.

The prime minister was speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, and his comment supports the views of ex-terror legislation watchdog Lord Carlile, who was most vocal over the weekend that DIPA should not be held back by excessive misgivings about loss of privacy or the extent of the ability of the state to spy on private individuals.

Speaking to Sky News and writing in the Daily Mail, Carlile – who was the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation between 2001-2011 – implicitly criticised the acts of ex-NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, saying that the disclosures had ‘shown terrorists ways to hide their electronic footprints’, and advocated the ratification of DIPA not by the end of 2016 as projected, but by the end of the year.

Cameron advocates fast-tracking of controversial net legislation after Paris attacks [Martin Anderson/The Stack]

(via /.)

(Image: President Bush, standing with firefighter Bob Beckwith, addressing rescue workers at Ground Zero in New York, September 14, 2001, FEMA, public domain)

Notable Replies

  1. There are some things Britain shouldn't be importing from the US.

  2. doop says:

    I think the dubious part is that he may be offering this as a solution in absolute bad faith, knowing that 1. it won't work and 2. that's not really what they want the bill passed for or what they're going to use it for. A good analogy might be someone offering crystal therapy to treat cancer. Or maybe you could develop a more involved metaphor from the exploitative, paternalistic relationship between cult leader and followers, in that Britons are not just victims but enablers.

  3. Though, once again, several of the people involved were already known to security services, and they still couldn't stop them. So of course more surveillance of everyone is going to fix this.

  4. I'm from the UK btw. Got to say though I was expecting this -- was thinking that the conservatives would take this oppertunity to pass through at least one piece of loony-tunes legislation. Now just watch it go straight through with labour doing nothing but hand-waving it through and no opposition at all in the house of lords.

    Isn't it intresting too that while cameron tells the rest of us we should still have cuts and how our lives have to get worse he can "magically" find money to have even more spies? What's that -- you found a few million down the back of the sofa?

    The last thing we need is more spies and spying. As someone has already said - "Still haven't found the needle, what we need is a bigger haystack". Quite right. Want to find that needle? We need a few thousand more bales of hay. That'll work. x.x

    As someone living in the UK I'm wondering if this legislation goes through does that mean I really need to start using Tor or tails? Will I have to do what I'm thinking one day I might have to do - namely one day not allow the whole internet and just block individual websites but instead to the opposite - block the entire internet in total and just let those few websites through? If it's just hand-waved through just what do people over here in the UK do? How do you even start to make a change?

    The government needs to wait and discuss and take its time. Not just run along and make "on-the-hoof" legislation. It'll only end in tears.

  5. Of course David Cameron is worried about Islamic terrorists. They don't even eat pork, do you think they allow sex with it? He must preserve his way or life at any cost.

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