There can be no party-political ding-dong while we defend democracy.
Every month over a thousand surveillance operations are carried out, not just by law enforcement agencies but by other public bodies like councils and quangos. And the tentacles of the state can even rifle through your bins for juicy information.
How have we got ourselves into the position where there is such a marked imbalance of power between the citizen and the state?
Shame the Conservatives purged all their pre-2010 speeches from their website.
Whether it’s Bitnet, The Tor – which is 90% of the Internet – peer-to-peer sharing, or the streaming capability worldwide. At what point does civil society say that as well as the benefits that brings, this enables huge risk and threat to our society that we need to take action against?
Commissioner Adrian Leppard of City of London Police, June 2014
Looks like the City of London Police are now aware of BITNET, but we can’t help but suspect that the Commissioner doesn’t know the difference between Tor, and the “deep web” - i.e. the web that’s not publicly available, such as company intranets.
Material which is of no intelligence interest is very quickly passed over, as often as not without being read or listened to. In many systems it is immediately marked for deletion. The deletion will then very soon happen, in many systems automatically; meanwhile the analyst, being only human and having a job to do, will have forgotten (if he or she ever took it in) what the irrelevant communication contained. I have sat next to analysts and heard or seen this happening;
The noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, took us into a digital world and I would be interested to know whether the Minister felt that there was anything in his suggestion for a digital Magna Carta. I am sure that is not just a scheme for a rather elaborate and high-tech exhibition during the anniversary year but reflects a deeper concern about the way that the internet can sometimes get out of control and cause problems, and that some code of conduct—some Magna Carta, as my noble friend put it—would be a good way to go.
That threat has come at a time when we have seen a huge growth in the internet, which allows a lot of the enemies of this country to hide. Back in 1995, when President Clinton was President of the United States, there were 130 websites in the world; at the end of 2012, there were 654 million. That is a lot of places for our enemies to hide.
May we have an urgent statement on internet security? Several experts have called for everyone to change their internet passwords because of a virus that has infected many websites. Indeed, earlier today I tried to change my password to “Labour’s economic policy”, but it was judged to be too weak.
Sussex constabulary is undertaking a trial of the Aeryon Skyranger to assess the contribution it might make to the policing of Gatwick airport. This trial is an operational matter for the chief constable.
In determining the storage and use of data obtained through this trial, the force will be subject to a duty to have regard to the surveillance camera code of practice issued as guidance under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.