Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl | UK news | The Guardian

This is a MUST READ article from the Guardian. Check it out!

via Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl | UK news | The Guardian.

Yesterday, we saw China challenge the US over its spying activities and later it was reported that President Putin was prepared to offer Russian protection to Edward Snowden; although following US pressure Putin later said that Snowden was merely in transit. In the latest twist in this saga, Germany has challenged the UK about infringing privacy rights of German citizens. Here is a flavor:

The German justice minister, in her letters to Grayling and May, asks for clarification of the legal basis for Project Tempora and demands to know whether “concrete suspicions” trigger the data collection or whether the vast quantities of global email, Facebook postings, internet histories and phone calls are being held for up to 30 days as part of a general trawl.

It seems that German citizens have been seriously angered by the US/UK spying activities. Germany, of course, has the powerful Federal Constitutional Court of Germany to protect its citizens and the German Government always responds to it with care and respect.

In further twists, we hear that the UK has been blocking European moves for great privacy rules in Europe. Finally, the article picks up an attack from David Davis, the UK MP:

Writing in the Guardian, the former Conservative leadership contender David Davis disputes that view, saying Britain’s intelligence agencies are only subject to law in theory.

He accuses GCHQ of circumventing “inconvenient laws” by handing over personal data to the US and raises the prospect of “extremely serious violation” of the rights of British citizens over the use of their personal data.

Personally, I think that Germany has been right to challenge David Cameron’s Government for debasing privacy. However, I am saddened that David Cameron’s Government seems to be giving  so little weight to  individual liberties .

As a final open question I ask:

What ever happened to the traditional values of the UK Conservative Party?

Conservative Party (UK)

Conservative Party (UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Harry Beckhough – Frank Davis |

  2. The idea that we in the UK have “individual liberty” is a rather quaint idea that might have been true once but has been subverted long ago.

    The hallmark of a free man or woman is a situation under which they can choose their own rulers, make their own laws, be represented by their peers and be able within the laws of libel and obscenity to be able to say what they like.

    They should be able to go about their lawful business day or night anywhere in the country free of the possibility of being mugged, accosted or pestered.

    They should be able to communicate by e-mail, social media, telephone or Skype free in the knowledge that unless they are a terrorist, criminal or suspected criminal under investigation their communications should be sacrosanct.

    Similarly, when they drive somewhere their every move should not be tracked and their journeys pieced together by melding ANPR footage and satellite/mobile phone triangulation data to determine where they have been going to.

    The reality is rather different.

    To begin with, our real rulers are not publicly known but they exist and exercise their power in secret by determining long before any election who is going to be the Prime Minister, leader of the Opposition and what the policies will be going forward.

    It is not an accident that the Royal Mace sits in the House of Commons and that Prime Ministers go to the Sovereign on a weekly basis to receive instructions rather than just to report what they are doing.
    Similarly, 75% of our laws are made in Europe and by people we did not elect and in most cases do not know.

    People are not free to go about their business in freedom and tranquility but instead have to avoid no go areas in our inner cities and towns because for all intents and purposes the police either through choice or lack of numbers do not go there.

    Modern technology, plus cameras which are more prolific per head of population than is the case in the People’s Republic of China, track where people go up to 300 times a day on CCTV footage which can be viewed later by the authorities, transponders in roads plus devices fitted to car engines since 1995 ready for the “introduction of road pricing” make real time tracking of car movements possible although with ANPR this is already possible for motorways, petrol station forecourts, supermarket car parks, public car parks and police surveillance via ANPR equipped vehicles.

    We are not free to say what we like because any criticism of particular vociferous minorities, the NHS and the quality of care, can unleash of storm of political correctness, accusations of racism, suspension, loss of job, arrest, trial and imprisonment.

    Questioning some of the Government’s more bizare legislation can get you branded as a “swivel eyed loony”, question “Climate Change” and some of the more apocalyptic rhetoric of Owen Patterson, the Environment Secretary, or the Met Office/BBC who get 80% of their daily forecasts wrong and you will find yourself vilified and out of a job as Dr David Bellamy was along with people like Piers Corbyn, Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and others who question the so called “consensus” of opinion.

    The BBC by giving platform to people like George Monbiot and Professor Nurse has abandoned any pretense at impartiality and is effectively misinforming and lying to people to the point that much of what they say cannot be regarded as a true and contemporaneous account of what is actually going on.

    Free people need to be able to make informed decisions rather than relying on what the Government tells them which is our Western criticism of autocratic regimes.

    The public even at the level of the most stupid does not believe much of what it is told because through their own eyes and the internet the weather, the state of the economy, immigration and the state of policing, the NHS and a whole host of other areas are seen as they really are and not as portrayed by the BBC/Official sources.

    Regaining our freedom requires accurate information from the media, straight talking from politicians, less corruption, a concentration by the authorities on genuine criminals and genuine threats and a public capable of handling the truth.It requires that we build a strong economy and stop meddling in the affairs of others which creates resentment, terrorism and all the problems involving surveillance that are now causing so much disquiet.

    None of these issues is being dealt with effectively and the public have at best a low capacity for handling the truth even if they knew what it was.

    Thus little change is in prospect even with Snowden’s revelations.

  3. Pingback: Turkey Unrest: A Family Split Between Erdogan and Taksim – SPIEGEL ONLINE « Dr Alf's Blog

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