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Repeal the new surveillance laws (Investigatory Powers Act)

If you are in the UK, please sign the petition to repeal the new surveillance laws (Investigatory Powers Act). We are half way to getting a Parliamentary debate (maybe 🙄 ).

Too many see Orwell’s “1984” not as a cautionary tale, but rather a compendium of interesting policy suggestions.

37 comments to Repeal the new surveillance laws (Investigatory Powers Act)

  • Cal

    Well, I’ve signed it, but don’t hold your breath. ‘Parliamentary debate’ doesn’t mean much, and these online petitions have lost a lot of credibility since the second referendum petition debacle where it was shown that autobots could be used to add millions og signatures.

  • PaulH

    Adding to what Cal says, I’ve been on a number of these and never seen a single thing actually change as a result. Perhaps I should start a petition asking for examples of changes brought about by the petition system…

  • Laird

    I wish you luck with this, but as Cal says don’t hold your breath. In the US we have a formalized way of petitioning the President, but as far as I know it has never accomplished anything; the government simply ignores those it doesn’t like.

  • Dave Ward

    I also doubt it will do any good. Just 4 years ago the government had no plans to introduce any such monitoring:


  • I also doubt it will do any good

    Everything they do can also be undone 😉

  • Phil B

    Correct me if I’m wrong on this but didn’t Britain have a referendum to exit the EU recently with a definite majority to do so and …????

    I’m with Carl on this one. If voting did any good, they’d abolish it.

  • Watchman

    We’d be better off without the 1984 analogy though – whilst that might be the end of the slippery slope (albeit one we can easily walk back up – wet grass or maybe light snow rather than oil…) it’s a bit hyperbolic saying that people are taking features of 1984 as policy suggestion, and ignores the more pervasive evil of doing this because of good intentions, which is what applies here (Theresa May is the ultimate example of why a well-intenioned person should always be kept well away from power – which admittidly probably disqualifies many commentators here as well (personally I’d be fine – I’m in it for the sex and money…)).

  • Laird

    I’m voting for Watchman! An honest politician! :mrgreen:

  • You think far more highly of May than I do, Watchman

  • Richard Thomas

    A small part of me actually thinks of this as a good thing. For a long while now, as the internet has matured, people have been somewhat taking their privacy for granted even as governments have overstepped their mandates into intrusiveness. It’s way past time that hard, end-to-end encryption was used for everything.

    Of course, they’re trying to come after encryption too. But that genie is already out of the bottle and they will end up making themselves look foolish.

  • Richard Thomas

    For that matter, when is Samizada switching to SSL?

  • bobby b

    “Everything they do can also be undone.”

    Nothing ever gets undone within the established system.

    Here’s the irony: You’re going to need to find your own Trump.

  • Here’s the irony: You’re going to need to find your own Trump.

    We might not agree on what that means 😉

  • The Jannie

    “they will end up making themselves look foolish.”

    Hasn’t stopped them so far . . .

  • bobby b

    “We might not agree on what that means.”

    We actually might, or at least more than you think.

    I have no illusions about Trump. There’s nothing noble about him, he has no wisdom or abilities that we’d look for in a president, he has no particular insight into . . . anything . . . that I’ve seen, he has no coherence in his thought, no unifying theme, his main backers are all over the map in terms of what they want and what they think he is . . .

    But he’s a disrupter.

    He’s such a circus to watch. He’s so off the wall that, mostly just out of shock, society (over here) is starting to allow discussions to occur that, a year ago, would have been unthinkable.

    By not allowing polite society to shut him down with the lines that would have been killers for most any other candidate, he’s taken away the power of the Democrat press and supporters to stifle conversations that they don’t want to hear, but that we desperately need to have.

    He’s a bull in a china shop, and that’s his best feature. I think you need some such disruption before you can begin dismantling a system.

  • Bruce

    To Serve Man?

    It’s a cookbook!

  • Richard Thomas

    bobby b:

    Well said.

  • Richard Thomas

    Looking back….

    At piles of trash in the street

    At the TV you were watching going off. Just going off. Your Dad went out, did the work he was supposed to do and he came home and his TV went off and the house went dark because…

    Potentially, Trump is America’s Thatcher.

  • It proved impossible to oppose this bill because the overwhelming body of opinion supports a utilitarian commitment to safety and security over liberty in principle and practice with greater risk.

    Expressed opinion appears to expect the state to be trustworthy and effective in pursuing the common good, despite experience. Generally, I find a commitment to liberty in principle against the state is regarded as alien.

    Progress on these issues will be made only when the state is widely considered more dangerous than freedom from it. Popularising liberty is our challenge, not obtaining a debate in Parliament, which will only reflect public opinion.

  • Well, I’ve signed it, along with 85,502 other people, so there is some momentum in the petition at least.

    Looking at the petition data, it was only created 6-days ago (2016-11-20T00:52:32.484Z), so getting 85k+ signatures is pretty good.

    Potentially, Trump is America’s Thatcher.

    I’d be quite happy for him to be another Reagan. Battling the forces of evil, such as the Clinton Crime Family.

  • Potentially, Trump is America’s Thatcher.

    More likely he is America’s Berlusconi, but this article is about the parlous state of civil liberties in the UK, not fluffy Trump.

  • Progress on these issues will be made only when the state is widely considered more dangerous than freedom from it. Popularising liberty is our challenge, not obtaining a debate in Parliament, which will only reflect public opinion.

    I fear Steve Baker is correct and it behoves us to scream from the rooftop and try to convince people that ‘the state is not your friend’.

  • NickM

    I’m number 95276.

    Wait, I’m not a number. I’m a free man.

  • Only us old gits get the reference Nick 😆

  • Alisa

    Not true Perry – I actually know quite a few young’uns who are quite the fans. Granted, the new version may be part of the reason for that.

  • Sam Duncan

    Signed. It’s close to 98,000 now.

  • 100,236 signatures

    Job done, onto the next stage…

  • Laird

    “More likely he is America’s Berlusconi”

    I’ll take Berlusconi over Mussolini.

    And I’d be surprised if most people on this site didn’t get The Prisoner reference, not just us “old gits”!

    Re Steve Baker’s comment, I can’t help but reflect on V’s speech. It’s closer than you think.

  • I’ll take Trump incompetence over Clinton malevolence any day of the week.

  • You might think that. I could not possibly comment.

  • Paul Marks

    To be fair previous works to “1984” were meant as a guide to action. For example “The New Atlantis” – by Sir Francis Bacon. Both Sir Francs Bacon and his servant Thomas unlimited-state Hobbes are beloved by the “libertarian” in Kent, but he was not the first one to love them. The British elite have revered such people Sir Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Sir William Petty (mathematical “planning” of society and the economy), Jeremy Bentham (13 Departments of State controlling all aspects of life) and so on, for a long time now.

    It is only natural for the establishment elite to see “1984” as guide to policy written in the form of a story.

    Human freedom? An absurdity – after all David Hume “proved” that the human person, the “I”, is just an “illusion”. There is no human personhood – no Free Will. Therefore destroying human freedom (moral choice – free will) does not matter – because it does not exist. This is the view of the establishment elite – our “educated” rulers.

    Fighting the politics of these people means, has to mean in the end, fighting their philosophy – their denial of the very existence of human persons. Moral agents – able to discern moral good from moral evil and able to CHOOSE, really choose, to do what is morally right against our “passion” to do evil.

    No human persons means, in the end, no human rights (no human freedom) – it is that brutally simple.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – believing in the human person (the soul in the Aristotelian sense) does not commit someone to believing the soul is immortal. It may indeed die with the body – as Alexander of Aphrodisias (the great “Commentator” on Aristotle – who wrote the anti determinist “On Fate” and other works) held to be the case.

    Ayn Rand, a more recent Aristotelian, also held that the human person died with the body – but that this did NOT mean that the human person (the “I” – the moral agent) did not exist.

    We may only exist for a brief time, like a candle in the darkness before it is snuffed out. But this does not mean that we our free will, moral freedom (freedom of choice – to choose to do otherwise) does not exist, or is not morally important. Indeed it is the basis of morality – of moral responsibility itself. And, like Gladstone, I am certain that we can not get moral improvement of the people from the state (only by individual persons choosing to make a real effort to morally improve themselves).

    So, yes, I will be signing.

  • NickM

    I never figured out why “A Clockwork Orange” was so greatly received. It seemed a morality tale of the utterly obvious.

  • Bod

    No real surprise – it was a Ken Russell movie. Violent, odd, ‘arty’, and critical of the establishment.

    The perfect confection for the increasingly young and relatively prosperous movie-going demographic of the early 70’s.

    On release in December 1971, it was criticised for its extreme violence by the British Board of Film Censors, but was released uncut – only to be withdrawn in early 1972 because it was cited as an inspiration for some schoolkid in a manslaughter trial – further enhancing the edgy reputation.

    It made youthful rebellion, rape and street violence ‘cool’.

  • NickM

    I was talking about the novel but anyway the movie was made by Stanley Kubrick.

  • NickM

    Oh, and the only thing that made the movie “cool” was it’s withdrawal. It is risible otherwise.

  • I must admit I rather liked A Clockwork Orange, with its suitably bleak view of the state.