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Copyright and Patent Reform

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Friday, 23 January, 2015 - 10:00

A cross-party group of peers has proposed forcing through the text of the Communications Data Bill by inserting it in to the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill going through parliament. This would leave just days to consider complex legislation that has already been rejected.

The Communications Data Bill was widely criticised as a "Snoopers' Charter" that attacked innocent citizens' privacy and opened the door legitimising the mass surveillance already in place as revealed by the Snowden leaks.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said: 

"This attempt to sneak...

Net Neutrality

 

 

Opening the door to radical reform

Loz Kaye's picture

One of the defining issues that kicked off the Pirate movement was copyright. It was possibly the most defining issue, though post Snowden things look very different now. The web depends on sharing, transmitting, copying. And it was radical that this should be a political issue, not just an obsession for law geeks.

So obviously, it was seen of something of a triumph that Julia Reda  MEP was given the task of being Copyright Rapporteur. I'm sure we were all aware of the political danger. Anything too radical would have been ripped apart, not advocating for our views would be a significant failure. It's also true that being in the Green group is where we can get most influence now, they will also hold us back.  

NHS: Big Brother Knows Best, Your Decisions Mean Nothing.

Danfox Davies's picture

In yet another act sure to increase the speed of George Orwell's rotations in his grave, the NHS has decided that the opt-out forms I pointed out to many of you a year ago are not worth the paper they are printed on or emails they are sent in. Because, you see, you might have not understood fully the implications of opting out of your data being shared with private companies.  

Snooper’s Charter – the Zombie Bill that just won’t go away

Mark Chapman's picture

Four members of the House of Lords have attempted to bring back from the dead the Communications Data Bill – otherwise known as the Snoopers' Charter. The entirety of the bill that had previously been rejected (or at least put on hold) by Parliament – some 18 pages in all – was added as a late ‘amendment’ to the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill currently passing through the Lords. This is utterly cynical at best, and a total abuse of parliamentary procedure at worst.

The Communications Data Bill is the one which required ISPs (or any ‘telecommunications provider’) to keep a log of all activity associated with an individual or IP address. Whilst ostensibly requested for ‘security’ reasons (being played up again in the light of the Charlie Hebdo murders in France) – this mass retention of data is nothing less than oppressive, unwarranted, mass surveillance of the entire populace.

We know all too well from the Snowden revelations that power is abused by those who hold it – and that there is mission creep in the data retained and the uses to which it can be put. There is no reason to think that this would be any different.

Plain Cigarette Packaging, will it work?

As the government announces a free vote on legislating for blanket plain cigarette packaging (as already on sale in Australia), will the stated aims - reducing the number of children who start smoking and getting more smokers to quit - be achieved?

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