Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Greed for information - Addendum

As an addition to a recent blog posting, there are some new developments around the Phorm technology (which monitored personal data and during the pilot experiment forgot to mention users about this...).

There was a theory that surely, if the British Home Office got something so simple so wrong (i.e. does it or doesn't it violate European laws...) then it must have had a reason to give such blatantly false information (and approval).

Well, it is remarkable, as said before, that reality in the case of the current truly Stalinist British Government (when it comes to so-called 'safer society') beats any conspiracy theory and/or paranoid delusion.

It turns out, that emails between the Home Office and Phorm show the department asking if the firm would be "comforted" by its position.

The messages show Phorm making changes to the guidance sought by the ministry. The emails say (in, as some called, jaw dropping manner) thing like: "If we agree this, and this becomes our position do you think your clients and their prospective partners will be comforted".

In an email dated August 2007, an unnamed Home Office official wrote to Phorm's legal representative and said: "My personal view accords with yours, that even if it is "interception", which I am doubtful of, it is lawfully authorised under section 3 by virtue of the user's consent obtained in signing up to the ISPs terms and conditions."

In an e-mail dated 22 January 2008, a Home Office official wrote again to Phorm and said: "I should be grateful if you would review the attached document, and let me know what you think."

So the Government guidance was quite... interesting. And one wonders, and this is then a rhetorical question: why would the British Home Office give such incredible treatment to this matter...

Well, obviously, they had their eyes on the technology- so that, while introducing truly unprecedented electronic surveillance, can expand that technology and eventually, one can be sure of this, find other 'applications' to Phorm...

Jim Killock, executive director of privacy campaigners, the Open Rights Group, said: "The Home Office's job is to uphold the law: not to reinterpret it for commercial interests.

"It's extraordinary, when you think of the blatant disregard Phorm showed towards UK laws in its secret trials, that this sort of lax attitude should be shown."
It is a very black day again for basic human rights and this scandal around the anyway truly unbelievable Home Office measures, misinformation and misleading of the public has hit new heights.

It is a democratic country, remember? We vote for these people... and once in office, we lose completely any control over them... and under the new Holy Grail of master manipulators, the anti-terror strategy (oh sorry, it's called 'terror strategy' actually- well, it literally is) anything is possible.

I lost count so far on how many levels and points has the Home Office violated the Constituion, European law and basic human rights.

And these people actually comment on China's human rights issues?...

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