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Snowden on May and Human Rights


UK Snoopers Charter to be challenged in court

It’s become clearer than ever in recent months that this law is not fit for purpose. The government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism. All that does is undermine the very rights, freedoms and democracy terrorists seek to destroy.

The Register: Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance »


For you to be anonymous, we must know who you are…

The British Internet provider O2 disputed the previous story that they don’t permit people to access tools that give them anonymity protection, like this VPN service. “You only need to show photo ID in one of our stores”, they said, via a link provided. So in order to be an anonymous and protected press source, you need to show a photo ID. You couldn’t make it up if you tried.

Falkvinge @ PNO » British ISP: Of course you can be a protected anonymous press source, you just need to show us photo ID first »


Why more mass surveillance will not protect us

Although the immediate political fallout of the London attack focused on Theresa May’s cuts to policing, reductions in the number of staff who analyse intelligence is perhaps the area most deserving of scrutiny. Professor Philip Davies, director of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, believes the UK’s security apparatus is suffering from what those in signals intelligence call information overload.

The Guardian: How a crippling shortage of analysts let the London Bridge attackers through »


Theresa May should blame herself, not the Internet

To nobody’s surprise also the London Bridge assassins were known to the authorities. One of them has been in a tv-documentary about jihadism. And he was reported trying to convert children he met in a park to Islam. According to himself, he would be prepared to kill his own mother in the name of Allah.

Responsible for the authorities that are supposed to handle things like this was – between 2010 and 2016 – now Prime Minister Theresa May.

Today her only comment is that she would like to censor the Internet.

Censoring information and maximizing surveillance of the people is not the way to defend democracy. That would rather be to support the terrorists strive to destroy our open and free society. And it would do very little to stop religious radicalization.

To Theresa Mays defense, it should be said that it is not all that easy to know what to do. You can hardly lock people up who have not (yet) committed any crime. You cannot jail people because of their skin color, their cultural background, their faith or their political beliefs. And you should not punish entire ethnic groups because of the deeds of a few.

There must be better ways to defeat terrorism.


A few links:

London Bridge terrorist ‘was in Channel 4 documentary about British jihadis’ »

Theresa May Blames The Internet For London Bridge Attack; Repeats Demands To Censor It »

‘Blame the internet’ is just not a good enough response, Theresa May »

Tim Farron warns of win for terrorists if web is made surveillance tool »


War on terror: We are doing it wrong

Time and time again it turns out that terrorists have been known to authorities before their attacks.

In the tragic Manchester case, there had been numerous reports on the perpetrator. But these warnings were ignored. (This also happened under PM Theresa Mays watch as UK Secretary of State for the Home Department.)

• Manchester attack: UK authorities missed several opportunities to stop suicide bomber Salman Abedi »
• Manchester Bomber Was Repeatedly Reported to Authorities Over Five Years »
• Manchester attacks: MI5 probes bomber ‘warnings’ »

Despite of this – governments insist that the way to fight terrorism is more mass surveillance, infringing on ordinary, decent peoples right to privacy.

This approach is counterproductive – and will make us all less safe.

Clearly, surveillance should be focused on people we have reason to believe are dangerous to others.

And most of these people can be identified, e.g. by their association with others or after having traveled to places of certain types of war and conflict.

Authorities refusal to take a reasonable approach to this issue raises questions about the real purpose of government surveillance schemes.



UK to move against end-to-end encryption after general election

Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data.

Techcrunch: Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption? »