We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

You might not have noticed thanks to world events, but the UK parliament recently approved the government’s so-called Snooper’s Charter and it will soon become law. This nickname for the Investigatory Powers Bill is well earned. It represents a new level and nature of surveillance that goes beyond anything previously set out in law in a democratic society. It is not a modernisation of existing law, but something qualitatively different, something that intrudes upon every UK citizen’s life in a way that would even a decade ago have been inconceivable […] As David Davis said, before being distracted by Brexit, this kind of surveillance will only catch the innocent and the incompetent. The innocent should not be caught and the incompetent can be caught any number of ways.

Paul Bernal. Good article, even if I was a bit bemused by the author’s surprise that a paleo-socialist like Jeremy Corbyn acquiesced.

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18 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Somehow, this seems on a par with laws against pointy knives, laws against defending your own home, laws against saying mean things about people you don’t like, and laws against refurbishing your 500 year old home. Also laws against letting your kids play outside, or eat too much junk food.

    The state knows better than you, plebe.

  • Brian Swisher

    The British have already been the most surveiled of the Western democracies for at least the last decade and a half – should this surprise anyone?

  • The British have already been the most surveiled of the Western democracies for at least the last decade and a half – should this surprise anyone?

    I’m not really surprised with Theresa May in charge, she was always an prod nosed bitch who can’t keep her own business to herself.

    For me, it just means that my use of a VPN which was previously limited will instead be more extensive. Indeed I might have to swap out my software solution for a router which comes with an embedded “always on” VPN channel.

    This is not something that I want to do, just something which I feel compelled to do by intrusive legislation.

  • Peter Westwood

    Surely it is not beyond humanity’s capability to think its way out of this bullshit reality?
    We think it’s time.
    http://olivefarmercrete.blogspot.gr/2016/11/conscious-collective-will-to-good.html

  • Bod

    JG,

    That’s something I’ve been considering doing too, and I’m in the US. The issue comes down to the right hardware and software, of course. Do you have any recommendations?

  • @Bod:

    How’s about BlackVPN? They have a good reputation for proficiency of VPN operations and not skimping when it comes to protecting your privacy.

    https://www.blackvpn.com/vpn-routers/

    They have a router bundle right now which is $99 for the router and includes 12-months VPN access.

  • Bod

    That is a good deal – I’m a little concerned about it being HK-based, but that’s a relatively small downside.

    I’ll check ’em out. Thanks.

  • Greyhare74

    Dearie me , the tinfoil hat brigade is alive and well.
    A) I’m not sure that “surveiled” is a real word. If the Samizdata police were really on the job, they should have advised replacement by, say, “secretly watched”. The statement may well be true in the UK in terms of recorded images in streets, trains, buses, etc, but these images only have a role post some event.
    B) VPNs are a really good idea if you want to protect your credit card details from hackers when you are using a wifi hotspot in somewhere dodgy. If you think that you are so important that your libertarian/fascist/fetishist/terrorist opinions are of direct interest to the security services, how do you think that’s going to help?
    C) If you think that the security services should not be doing all they can to search and analyse internet traffic for patterns, trends and groups, then try to read up on most recent terrorism trials.
    D) If you think that RIPA is liable to abuse, I quite agree. The most likely offenders are local authorities checking to see whether you have put your socks In the landfill bin. Tell them to fuck off and see you in court.

  • Dearie me , the tinfoil hat brigade is alive and well.

    I tend to kick people for being a prick gratuitously. Your first and only warning.

    A) I’m not sure that “surveiled” is a real word.

    It is spelled incorrectly but yes, it is a word. You don’t have access to a search engine?

    If you think that you are so important that your libertarian/fascist/fetishist/terrorist opinions are of direct interest to the security services, how do you think that’s going to help?

    I would not care to do your research for you but there are many ways. But more to the point, a VPN is pretty good at preventing the details of what you are doing coming to the attention of the people your action would irk if they knew who you were. It also works well for tentacle porn that the Home Office might disprove of.

    If you think that the security services should not be doing all they can to search and analyse internet traffic for patterns, trends and groups, then try to read up on most recent terrorism trials.

    You are missing the point and your next reply is a bit facile. You think the security state can be trusted with panoptic capabilities, meaning you must be a pathologically trusting person.

  • Greyhare74

    Apologies, I need to decode the last paragraph of my last post for international audience.
    D) If you think that the Regulation of Investigative powers Act is open to abuse, I quite agree. The most likely offenders are town councils who have used it to check whether parents have lied about living In school catchment areas, or to see whether you have put recyclables on the landfill waste bin. Tell them to fuck off and see you in court.

  • Peter Westwood

    So long as a government does not become extreme then this surveillance is not so terrifying. However, the instruments of terror now lie forever in the hands of future governments and any reasonable person should be able to read the threat to life and liberty in this monstrous intrument of state control. Imagine such snooping capabilities in the hands of a Stalin or any other despot that has littered humanity’s history throughout history. Only a fool would say “It’ll never happen here”. It already has. Terror attacks in Western Europe, since 1970, have never exceeded 450 in any one year. Meanwhile the death toll in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya from democratic intervention by UK USA and NAto exceeds 2 million.
    Who are the bad boys, really?

  • Greyhare74: So you do not think civil rights activists or just plain old politically inconvenient people have anything to worry about, because central government is far too motivated by probity to do anything like that? Is that a fair characterisation of your position? Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) has nothing to worry about, yeah?

  • So long as a government does not become extreme then this surveillance is not so terrifying.

    So what if Jeremy Corbyn, a Hezbollah supporter and a man who was eulogising Fidel Castro today, by some miracle actually got elected as PM? Extreme enough for you to worry? And if so, may I point out that he is currently the leader of the opposition.

  • bobby b

    “It also works well for tentacle porn . . . “

    Every so often, I run across something that reminds me that I’ve led a relatively sheltered life.

  • Bobby B:

    I can assure you that there is a lot worse than tentacle porn (which for aficionados of Mad Men can be quite tasteful as in “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”)

    But whatever might gird the loins of Mr. Perry de Havilland (Hippos perhaps), it is none of the business of the prod nosed busybodies of the state.

  • Bod

    I consider that my efforts to evade surveillance by the state is a small but vital part of protecting other peoples’ freedoms as well as my own. If I and 10 million people like me succeed in making GCHQ’s and the NSA’s job impossible, I’ll consider it Mission Accomplished.

    In more practical terms, I realize that such actions *alone* won’t achieve my aims – even with 10 million other people doing the same thing, but it’s not totally a token resistance. I don’t see why I should blindly accept that I have no expectation of privacy on the Internet, and I certainly don’t accept that I should cede my privacy without a fight.

    I want the state worrying about what 10 million people might be saying about them, even if 9.9 million of them are actually sending links to LOLcats. I want their budgets to have to be increased a hundredfold, so that people who ARE prepared to forgo their privacy, help to help shut these programs down because they’re too expensive. Indeed, if the PRISMers get worried enough, they might even start behaving more desperately and begin more openly thuggish tactics, which will again corrode their acceptability.

    Anyway – sorry for hijacking the thread, Perry.

  • NickM

    Oh JG,
    I thought tentacle porn was for the R’lyeh market. I’d like to see Mrs May against the Great Old Ones!

  • Paul Marks

    Of course Mr Jeremy Corbyn agreed with government internet control – for the same reason that he loved Fidel Castro, Mr Corbyn is a totalitarian socialist.

    “But Paul – Mrs May is the leader of your political party”.

    I do not remember voting for the lady in a leadership election. And I am not going to spend my time defending either wild government spending (or Bank of England antics) – or 1984 stuff on the internet.

    For the record I think Mrs May is much to be preferred as Prime Minister as-compared-to Mr Corbyn.