UK Passes Bill Providing Most Extreme Spying Powers in the Developed World

15175631_1497380663623877_428344330_nBy Darius Shahtahmasebi

The House of Lords, the upper house of the U.K.’s parliament, just passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, legislation that provides immense spying powers to the British government. The government’s new surveillance privileges are virtually unrivaled across the globe.

The bill, which critics have deemed the “Snooper’s Charter,” will force internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year. These records will be accessed by numerous government departments, and the law also allows the government to force companies to hack into products they have sold so consumers can be monitored. Under the newly passed legislation, the government can also ask these companies to make their devices less secure so communications can be intercepted. They can also mandate that companies encrypt their devices on demand.

As noted by the Independent:

In all, the new bill includes a range of changes to the law that will affect normal people, and gives Britain perhaps the most extreme spying powers in the developed world. (emphasis added)

Supposedly Apple and Twitter have fought against this, though it’s difficult to take their sentiments seriously.

Even in the face of mounting criticism from these major technology and internet companies — and from senior parliamentary committees and representatives from the United Nations — the legislation was barely challenged in Parliament.

Like a bad dream that only gets worse, the only amendment to the bill so far has been from MPs (members of Parliament), and its purpose was to ensure that MPs could not be spied on under the new legislation.

Considering the bill was designed to target companies such as Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook and has over one billion users, the law is tantamount to widespread bulk surveillance. Such a widespread invasion of privacy is a gross violation of basic human rights.

“I have nothing to hide therefore I have nothing to fear” is a common rationalization to downplay these impositions, but it is also the most poorly crafted and cowardly justification for surveillance in the ongoing debate. Whistleblower Edward Snowden debunked this mentality when he lamented that the origins of this approach stem from Nazism. Snowden famously stated:

“Because privacy isn’t about something to hide. Privacy is about something to protect. That’s who you are. Privacy is baked into our language, our core concepts of government and self in every way. It’s why we call it ‘private property.’ Without privacy you don’t have anything for yourself.

“Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

The people who threaten to take our human rights — or even advocate doing so — are never victims of such oppression and can usually escape these limitations quite easily. As stated by Glenn Greenwald in his TEDtalk, “Why Privacy Matters”:

This same division can be seen with the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who in an infamous interview in 2010 pronounced that privacy is no longer a ‘social norm.’ Last year, Mark Zuckerberg and his new wife purchased not only their own house but also all four adjacent houses in Palo Alto for a total of 30 million dollars in order to ensure that they enjoyed a zone of privacy that prevented other people from monitoring what they do in their personal lives.

The House of Lords’ passage of the text now means it awaits the Royal Assent, the approval and signature of the Queen before it becomes law in the United Kingdom.

This article (UK Passes Bill Providing Most Extreme Spying Powers in the Developed World) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Darius Shahtahmasebi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to [email protected].


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5 Comments on "UK Passes Bill Providing Most Extreme Spying Powers in the Developed World"

  1. No one can say that the elite politicians of GB aren’t fully vested in the “we vs them” mentality of the NWO.

    • They are the font of evil for the NWO. Don’t forget the Bank of England was the first ever fractional reserve Central Bank ponzi scheme. They have been honing their skills ever since.

  2. Peter Cunningham | November 25, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Reply

    Methinks people need to look at the bigger picture that either through naivety or more likely through deliberate intent – demons are created by governments and then industries and employment set up around those demons to kill them.

    Here it is privacy and the related inconsequential thing called “liberty’.

    What better way to gain greater control than to knowingly import demonstrably high risk people onto one’s shores and in full knowledge of the problems – here being terror and cultural / religious incompatibility issues. With that achieved, then is the justification for “action” and “tough new laws”.

    Thus liberty and freedom become secondary to “The State” and the “National Interest” and those at the helm further justified to be there, and whilst bureaucracies and necessary employment is created.
    So from the perspective of those in control, it must be a balancing exercise between the disadvantages of creating problems and the benefits of solving them.

    It is exactly the same with the “GUNS” issue. Organised crime surrounds the drug industry – an industry created by laws and well meaning but ignorant people. And the result is of course a “War on Drugs”. But whilstever those laws are in place, so too will there be crime, and the guns, knives and violence that surrounds it. So what better way to “solve” the violence? Torment those hwo generally abide by law by never ending restrictions and bans on guns and any effective means of resistance people might have – and assigning the task of “making society safer” by empowering bureaucracies.

    Moving onto Climate Change (by whatever name) Exactly the same. Create a demon, then cushy jobs in endless gabfests, followed by agreements, conventions etc, and orchestrated indoctrination campaigns to make people willing to pay hugely to be saved by increased prices and taxes.

    It’s an endless list of the same behaviours – but the majority can’t see. Then of course I could be a complete idiot – or a “conspiracy theorist” etc – labels applied to those who pose challenge, such that the facts or observations become irrelevant.

    Thus as Plato said – we are led by our inferiors. (“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”)

    Roman Poet Satirist – Juvenal said: “panem et circusem” – Stating how to keep the masses diverted and placated with “Bread and Circuses.”

    The big challenge for humanity is how to engineer our future given people’s collective unwillingness or inability to recognise centuries of retained wisdom. But sadly, as that will never happen in a society comprised mainly of sheep, then we all will be led by tose intent on our control.

    Enjoy – that is what people vote FOR, but on a bright note, though only on one facet of this world – Trump seems to have a grip on things, but time will tell for how long. PC

    • Peter Cunningham, you are a smart man! I wish I was your friend. Not many people around to discuss what really is going on for centuries.

      • Peter Cunningham | November 26, 2016 at 3:24 am | Reply

        Ada: That you read and bothered comment means that you are thinking about how things really are. People who bother to think and weigh up different perspectives are an asset to society. You are one.
        So, treat learning as a game as it’s far more productive than following the diversions / entertainment that is easily available.
        From that effort, calmly and sensibly inform others and encourage them to think – and the best way is to read that which challenges one’s perspectives as often that tempers one’s prejudices.
        The more people who bother to be informed, and rationally explain – the better off our respective societies will be.

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