european court of justice

EU court rules UK snooper’s charter illegal

Indiscriminate collection of emails is illegal, EU court rules in response to challenge originally brought by David Davis.

Now I have a problem here. I am NOT in favour of the European Union, nor of us being under the European court of justice. Having said that… I am not in favour of the government collecting all of our emails and browsing data either.

OK, if I had the choice I would say, ‘let us get out of the EU, then we can tackle our government’s problems, but while we are still in the EU, I guess I am happy for us to make the best use we can of its powers.

The EU’s highest court has ruled that “General and indiscriminate retention” of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal. This judgment will undoubtedly trigger further challenges against the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act – the so-called snooper’s charter.

The European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg’s decision implies that only targeted interception of traffic and location data in order to combat serious crime – including terrorism – is justified, should be allowed.

This is one small step forward, but we really need to bring this before the Lord, seeking his preservation of our freedom.

The problem with laws that are so loosely written as the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is that they suffer from creep. We were originally told that the UK’s abortion laws would only lead to a handful of emergency abortions each year, but now there are now nearly 200,000 abortions in the UK and the acceptance of abortions as normal has spread almost right across the world. In Sep 2005 an 82-year-old Labour Party member was roughly thrown out of the party conference for heckling Jack Straw. When he tried to re-enter the secure zone, he was stopped by a police officer citing the Terrorism Act.

There can be many good arguments made for the Investigatory Powers Act, the need to combat terrorism or child trafficking being just two. But it will not stop there. In the end, it will, unless checked, end up stopping the free exercise of investigation and free speech.

social media

The Snoopers’ Charter

I know, I am a little behind the times here and the Snoopers’ Charter, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, received royal assent from the Queen, (became UK law), on the 29th November 2016. But The Red Pill Report is not intended to be a news-reporting site but a site commenting on the news, and… I did not have the site up in November. So here is some catch-up.

The bill allows UK intelligence agencies to carry out targeted interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data, and bulk interception of communications.

The bill allows UK intelligence agencies and law enforcement to carry out targeted interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data, and bulk interception of communications, all of course in the fight against terrorism and child porn etc.

However, it is not restricted to these activities, and permits police, intelligence officers and other government department managers (of about 50 government departments) to see Internet connection records, as part of a targeted and filtered investigation, without a warrant. Some of the more strange departments are, “NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services,” and “Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board.” Why do they need to know what website I was on last night? And what role do they play in the fight against terrorism?

Perhaps more concerningly, it requires communication service providers to retain UK internet users’ “Internet connection records,” which websites were visited, (not however the particular pages and nor the full browsing history), for one year. This may be all well and good, if such information was secure and never got into the hands of anybody but the security services, however, we are all well aware of the fact that almost nothing is secure from hackers today.

Just this year, (2016), hacking group OurMine successfully hacked into accounts of major public figures like Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey, who ironically are the world’s top tech executives. It is very likely that one or more of the ISP’s storing information about their users will be hacked and the information about they hold about their users will be made public, or sold on the black market. This could easily be your information.

And it gets worse.

“In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the
truth of it.”
King John
in the Magna Carta.

According to theregister.co.uk, “Section 56(1)(b) creates a legally guaranteed ability – nay, duty – to lie about even the potential for State hacking to take place, and to tell juries a wholly fictitious story about the true origins of hacked material used against defendants in order to secure criminal convictions. This is incredibly dangerous. Even if you know that the story being told in court is false, you and your legal representatives are now banned from being able to question those falsehoods and cast doubt upon the prosecution story.”

Since the Magna Carta, men in England, (I am afraid I am not PC and will often refer to ‘human kind’ as men including within the term women too), men in England have been free from being placed ‘on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it,’ and that, ‘no one [is to] deny or delay right or justice.’

I would be very glad to receive any correspondence about the challenges we face from the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.