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[News] Stricter Police State in the UK - Reminder of Need for Free(dom) Software

  • Subject: [News] Stricter Police State in the UK - Reminder of Need for Free(dom) Software
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 20:12:33 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Names of innocent people will stay on police database

,----[ Quote ]
| The names of nearly a million people who 
| have not been convicted or cautioned for any 
| crime will continue to be stored on the 
| police national computer, even though the 
| government is changing the law so that their 
| DNA profiles are deleted.
| The revelation has provoked outrage among 
| human rights groups who warn that it could 
| affect the job prospects of the innocent. 
| They fear that whenever an employer carries 
| out an "enhanced criminal records" check on 
| a potential employee, the system would flag 
| up the fact that the person had been 
| arrested.


UK e-Borders scheme thrown into confusion by EU rules

,----[ Quote ]
| Conflicts with EU free movement rules have 
| thrown the UK's Â1.2 billion electronic 
| borders program into disarray.



Patriot Act Renewal Moving Forward

,----[ Quote ]
| Renewal of two controversial Patriot Act
| provisions set to expire at the end of the
| year have been approved by House and Senate
| Committees over the past month, and appear
| headed for floor votes in both bodies.
| President Obama has endorsed extending the
| provisions.
| The two provisions include the ârecordsâ
| rule and the âroving wiretapsâ provision.
| The so-called ârecordsâ rule grants federal
| officials with a court order the power to
| force private parties such as businesses,
| hospitals, and libraries to hand over "any
| tangible thing" they believe has "relevance"
| to a terrorist investigation.
| âRoving wiretapsâ allow wiretapping multiple
| lines of communication without informing
| FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)
| courts which specific phone lines or
| communication media are being targeted.


My Reaction to Eric Schmidt

,----[ Quote ]
| Schmidt said:
|     I think judgment matters. If you have
|     something that you don't want anyone to
|     know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in
|     the first place. If you really need that
|     kind of privacy, the reality is that
|     search engines -- including Google -- do
|     retain this information for some time
|     and it's important, for example, that we
|     are all subject in the United States to
|     the Patriot Act and it is possible that
|     all that information could be made
|     available to the authorities.
| This, from 2006, is my response:
|     Privacy protects us from abuses by those
|     in power, even if we're doing nothing
|     wrong at the time of surveillance.
|     We do nothing wrong when we make love or
|     go to the bathroom. We are not
|     deliberately hiding anything when we
|     seek out private places for reflection
|     or conversation. We keep private
|     journals, sing in the privacy of the
|     shower, and write letters to secret
|     lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a
|     basic human need.
|     [...]
|     For if we are observed in all matters,
|     we are constantly under threat of
|     correction, judgment, criticism, even
|     plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We
|     become children, fettered under watchful
|     eyes, constantly fearful that -- either
|     now or in the uncertain future --
|     patterns we leave behind will be brought
|     back to implicate us, by whatever
|     authority has now become focused upon
|     our once-private and innocent acts. We
|     lose our individuality, because
|     everything we do is observable and
|     recordable.
|     [...]
|     This is the loss of freedom we face when
|     our privacy is taken from us. This is
|     life in former East Germany, or life in
|     Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our
|     future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye
|     into our personal, private lives.
|     Too many wrongly characterize the debate
|     as "security versus privacy." The real
|     choice is liberty versus control.
|     Tyranny, whether it arises under threat
|     of foreign physical attack or under
|     constant domestic authoritative
|     scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty
|     requires security without intrusion,
|     security plus privacy. Widespread police
|     surveillance is the very definition of a
|     police state. And that's why we should
|     champion privacy even when we have
|     nothing to hide.

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