Thursday, February 08, 2007

Data protection

If the home office is so deficient, why don't they get on with getting it right rather than flooding us with new legislation?

Yesterday's edition was the latest serious crimes Bill, which (other than allowing the courts to lock people up who they think might create a crime) allows government departments have free access to all the data that government holds on citizens, and allows the Audit Commission (why the Audit Commission?) to trawl through government data and data obtained from outside sources (such as credit card companies, banks etc) in search of criminal patterns of behaviour.

We seen to be totally unconcerned as a nation about this invasion of our privacy -- believing that it will only affect other people. We should learn a lesson from what has happened to motorists -- it isn't the Mr Bigs that get done in, indeed if you have over a hundred outstanding fines they don't bother to pursue you because they reckon they let you know how to avoid pursuit. It's the ordinary motorist who gets done at the slightest excuse, and all our lives are made that little bit more miserable.

I don't believe that we shall be able to make any serious changes to this Bill, my party are too concerned about the public mood, and though the Lib Dems shout imprecations at the government at a local level they want the surveillance the same as everybody else. What I hope to do, though, is to make sure that we have a fully documented record of all the surveillance that is taking place, so that we might at some stage be able to take a long look at what is happening and feel so sick and that we do something about it. Not that these powers couldn't be used well -- but in the hands of the Home Office ...

6 Comments:

Blogger paige said...

Lord Lucas
I have to tell you that you are not in touch with reality.
There are children being arrested all over the country, for building tree houses, picking up twigs in parks, ringing bells on buses. They are being fingerprinted and DNA tested by the police!

Children are being fingerprinted in schools!

This is no longer Great Britain this may just as well be Nazi Germany. If they are doing this now just what the hell do you think is going to happen when they get all of these powers to snoop?

We will all be living in a police state. Our Doctors, dentists, bank accounts, credit cards, store loyalty cards, valuation officers who can photo the inside of our houses, DNA testing (results to be sold to insurance companies as Gordon thinks he can make money - which insurance co will not want to know who will get cancer/MS?)

Lord Lucas you really are not living in the same world as we are. We are living in fear for our children, ourselves, our families.
Have you seen the proposed census by the Government? it wants to know our sex lives who we sleep with, our religion.. This is not normal! We all want to tell the Government what we think but we cannot, when we vote out regional assemblies they put them in. This is a Dictatorship!
The Lords are there as a back stop against injustices like this, yes Governments want this power, so did Hitler. The problem for us all is what they do with it.
It is too late to close the gate after the horse has bolted.
History has a bad habit of repeating itself, who does the Government want to get rid of this time the Jews, Catholics, muslims??

They will have the DNA they will be able to anihalate a race by genetically killing of a particular difference between us all.
This has gone TOO far and the House of Lords should stand firm and in the service of each man, woman and child and say NO! too far, too much!

10:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the reason that there appears to be no public will against the tremendous inroads that the government is intent on making into our privacy is simply because the public are not fully aware of all the issues.
The potential for harm of the system is not being picked up by the media, so the issues are not being debated in any public fashion. Most people simply are not aware of what is going on, and if one explains to them, they are horrified.
It's a sad but true fact that the political agenda is defined by the media, and for whatever reasons, the media simply on the whole do not appear to be very interested. I don't believe that this is because the public aren't interested, but whatever the cause, that is why there is little public strength of feeling on the mattern

2:13 pm  
Anonymous jono said...

Lord Lucas,

Its good to see someone is putting up a fight; sadly however I cant see it making much of a difference. Tony Blair and his cohorts have made it completely plain that civil liberies are "outdated" or "not modern" and spin them as a tool for terrorist and criminals to escape trial etc, the media joyfully plays along with all this for some reason I cannot fathom. For a goverment who investigated the political backgrounds of the people who were fortunate enough to survive a rail crash (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2030685.stm)
its terrifying to think what they would do with the data they intend to gather.

jono

3:44 pm  
Anonymous Dave Gould said...

Thank you for raising this most important of issues, Lord Lucas.

I agree with anonymous. There still has been no public debate on the unprecedented threat from breaking down the safeguards on Govts databases. Indeed, it is hard to see they will ever understand. As these are technical issues, our representatives should be protecting us.
The public have no clue what is about to hit them. Even the online community is largely oblivious.

I will write to my MP, Stephen Williams, and hopefully get Cameron's position on it too in the next fortnight.

6:46 pm  
Blogger Ralph Lucas said...

Thanks for your encouragement. Each use of information that we agree to has such obvious advantages - stopping fraud, catching terrorists, pinning criminals - that it's hard for most to see how it will be used in practice. We've seen how vicious this government is to individuals who cross it - Brown will be the same - and we've experienced the clobber-the motorist festival that has followed from the ability to track us automatically from numberplates. But still we are not up in arms about it.

Over time it'll build a resentment against government that some demagogue will find easy to exploit.

8:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Over time it'll build a resentment against government that some demagogue will find easy to exploit."

Im curious about this comment.

The "demagogue" is already here, if nobodys noticed. Its not that Tony put all these new regulations in place for no particular reason. What makes you think that its anyone other than the Labour party and the courupt government we have to fear? I now *fear* the government; DNA samples, ID cards and the rest. I will never speak to a policeman agin, not to call an ambulance, report a crime, ever. The goverment has now co-opted and politicised the institutions that were supposed to be our servants in order to further their political ambitions, and its hard to see how this can be undone.

I dont trust the government and now never will.

jono

11:50 pm  

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