Friday, 26 March 2010

The EU SS is born.

Subrosa and Fausty both have this story.

Europol can access personal information on anyone – including their political opinions and sexual preferences – if it suspects, rightly or wrongly, that they may be involved in any “preparatory act” which could lead to criminal activity.

You do not need to commit a crime. You do not need to be planning to commit a crime. They only need to think you might and they need no more than that suspicion in order to access whatever information they feel like and track your movements.

Europol have, no doubt, a long list of suspects. Very long. In fact, everyone is on it but themselves.

They can track Emails and phone calls and website visits already. They can track your car through number plate recognition, they can track you through CCTV with face recognition software, they can track credit card and bank transactions. The EU have already pushed to make any insult to the EU or disagreement with its pronouncements a crime.

They can arrest and charge you for things that are not a crime in this country and they can export you to anywhere they like and lock you up without telling you or anyone else where you are or what you are accused of.

Europol have been absorbed into the EU parliament. They are not an independent police force. they are the SS.

And the Gorgon's Goblins respond to this with...

The Home Office insisted the changes were in Britain’s interests.

How, exactly?

A spokesman said: “Europol is now in a much stronger position to better support our fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism.”

They were already in a position to do that. Now they are in a much stronger position to fight dissenting voices, the BNP and other groups, people who don't agree with the ban of the day, and to keep the population terrified and in line. I wonder if they'll have those little skull badges on their caps again?

Email, phone calls, web use, travel, shopping, personal tracking, they will soon be able to detail exactly where you went and who you spoke to and what you said. The only thing they haven't yet brought under total surveillance is the written and posted letter.

Ah, but in the interests of 'stopping tobacco smuggling' (by post?) that's taken care of too.

'Nothing to hide, nothing to fear' - there are still some who think that's true. When you meet one, ask them to consider what would follow if they start their mantra with:

'When you have nowhere to hide...'


Anonymous said...

How long before they stop emails from arriving in your inbox?

You'd never know you were being censored, would you?

Thanks for linking, Leg-Iron. You elucidate far better than I!

Mac the Knife said...

"I wonder if they'll have those little skull badges on their caps again?"

Nothing so crass. How about a smiley face surrounded by gold stars? On a blue field?

Sound about right?

subrosa said...

Fausty, an American pal of mine said that in an email just the other week. No we wouldn't know.

Thanks for the link LI. I second Fausty's compliment.

Leg-iron said...

Fausty - it's impossible to know if a letter, parcel or Email doesn't arrive unless you're expecting it.

Mac - smiley faces would be far more sinister than skulls.

Subrosa - thanks to you and Fausty for finding it.

Angry Exile said...

Just been reading about this over at the LA blog. I once said that with Britain the way it is I'm fast becoming unwilling to get any closer to the land of my birth than Calais. That's just become Norway.


JuliaM said...

"'Nothing to hide, nothing to fear' - there are still some who think that's true."

Some? I'm beginning to worry that they are actually in the majority...

Spartan said...

Face recognition is pants! They have to set it so low that it couldn't tell the difference between Mel Gibson and Cheryl Cole.

Mac the Knife said...

"Mac - smiley faces would be far more sinister than skulls."

My thoughts exactly. This shower of shit make the SS look like a pre-school playgroup...

Antipholus Papps said...

smiley faces would be far more sinister than skulls

The smiley face was the symbol of Phineas Phreak's new world order religion 'Fundamentaligionism' in the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' Idiots Abroad! Very prescient was Gilbert Shelton.

Leg-iron said...

Antipholus - You remember the Freak Brothers? I thought I was the only one left.

All references to Fat Freddy's Cat fall on stony ground these days.

Leg-iron said...

Spartan - that face recognition stuff is possible but it is far too expensive to replace the number of cameras we have now. In fact I doubt this government could afford to replace even one.

The compromise will rely on software enhancement of images from existing blurry cameras and we can all rest assured it will never result in mistaken identity.

So when you're hauled from your bed at 4 am having just returned from the other side of the planet, that 'enhanced' footage proving you were eating a swan in Nuneaton will trump your ticket, visa, and your dated picture in the Outer Mongolian Daily Bugle.

The camera never lies - and all those photos of Photoshop ghosts on the Internet prove it.

Leg-iron said...

JuliaM - far too many. It's surprising how many look scared when they say it though.

Leg-iron said...

Mac - I'd use smiley-face badges in that dystopia novel but it'll just look like a Watchmen ripoff.

Baby masks, as used in Brazil, might be good. Damn, but those were creepy!

Anonymous said...

Trying to intercept emails or to remotely compromise personal computers is basically utter, gibbering madness for a state to even contemplate. As things stand, the average users has not got the habit of casual internet safety, and routinely uses protocols which aren't secure or encrypted, and trusts UK-based email providers.

If however the State decides to start actively and routinely snooping, then things will change, for the worse as far as the homegrown snoopers are concerned. Truecrypt already offers double-encrypted disk areas, whereby knowing the key to the first partition is no clue to that of the second (and doesn't even hint as to the existance of a second partition inside the first. Thus, with this system a user can comply with the UK's laughably naive RIP Act in the full and certain knowledge that the sensitive data they have won't be compromised.

To safeguard email traffic, simply buy a domain name and hosting for it (including as generous an email space partition as you can afford) in a country like Switzerland, and access it by IMAPS (a secure email protocol). The authorities can listen in if they fancy, but without hugely expensive brute-force cracking they're not going to get at the data and because it is off-shore, a UK warrant ain't going to get them anywhere.

To safeguard web traffic either use an onion routing system such as Tor, or rent a virtual private network connection to Switzerland or Norway. the company SwissVPN already does this, and does a brisk trade selling anti-snooping service to Westerners working in the Arabic countries and similar places.

In an eerily prescient move, a friend of mine has set up an ISP reselling BT service which does most of the above. has one of the daftest names in the world, and is arguably overkill, but it does offer fast ADSL and an encrypted Virtual Private Network that terminates in Switzerland for a price which is only slightly extortionate.

Antipholus Papps said...

Hell yeah! They were great, original comic books; it's sad that people haven't heard of them now.

I was fortunate enough to meet Gilbert Shelton, back in the days when I was a sound engineer - EMI were putting together a compilation of counter-culture icons, so we got Ivor Cutler, Edwin Pouncey (Savage Pencil), and Mr Shelton all in one day! I must say he came across as an acid casualty, but it was still an honour.

Weed will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no weed - Freewheelin' Franklin

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