UK Home Secretary: UK Isn't A Surveillance State... And I'd Give You Proof, But You Might All Die Because Of It

from the oh-do-shut-up dept

Theresa May, the UK's Home Secretary has hit back after the UK's Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Charles Farr, revealed how the UK believes it can spy on all "external" communications without a warrant and that it's definition of "external" was pretty close to "everything" (and that's only a slight exaggeration). May's response might be summarized as denying everything and insisting that if the UK government revealed any details, everyone might die. First up, the denial:
"Some people have alleged that GCHQ is exploiting a technical loophole in legislation that allows them to intercept external communications - that is, communications either sent or received outside the UK - at will and without authorisation. This is... nonsense."
Okay, so perhaps you could reveal more details about what GCHQ is actually doing and whether or not it's actually got any purpose towards national security? Oh, sorry, that would be "helping the terrorists win" of course:
But Mrs May warned that it would be "cavalier and reckless" to let the public know details of which terrorist plots had been thwarted by the security services.

"Considerable" threats to UK security were developing with the emergence of militant group Isis, the collapse of Syria, the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the "expanding scope" of cyber crime, the home secretary said.
In other words: FUD FUD FUD, be afraid!!! Oh, and of course, in her mind, she'd actually prefer it if the UK were even more of a surveillance state:
She concluded by renewing a call to change the law to hand the security services more powers to scrutinise online communication
She's specifically discussing the so-called Snooper's Charter, which has been soundly rejected by both the public and other politicians, but which her party still wants... because they're scared of fictional TV crime dramas (that's not a joke).

I'm sorry, but this continuing game of "we're not spying on you... but we need more powers to spy on you because FEAR FEAR FEAR... and we can't give you any evidence because you all might die" is getting rather tired.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    When are people going to realize that our governments don't work FOR us, but are only interested in maintaining and expanding their own powers and those of their corporate sponsors?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 12:12pm

    ha ha ha ha!!!

    I don't live in the UK, but you UK clowns deserve this shit every bit as much as we American assholes deserve ours!

    Let commiserate together and have some fish and chips aye?

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 12:19pm

    Huh?

    But Mrs May warned that it would be "cavalier and reckless" to let the public know details of which terrorist plots had been thwarted by the security services.

    Surely the terrorists are aware of failed terrorist plots.

     

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  4.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

    National Security

    Once again a politician confuses National Security with the threat of a violent attack with a damage potential roughly on a par with a bad day on the roads.

    To call that a "considerable threat to UK security is just nonsense.

    She should try reacting to terrorism in the way recommended during the war:

    "Keep calm and carry on"

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Is there some sort of Mortality Fallacy?
    Appealing to one's mortality to give credit to your argument?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 12:39pm

    getting as bad, if not worse than the USA! in fact, more like the countries that were defeated for trying the same thing many years ago. this time, it's being done without firearms but by using a more dangerous tool, underhandedness! by witholding exactly what your own governments are doing against their own citizens! absolutely disgraceful! 99% of terrorist attacks are in the warped minds of the ones telling everyone else to be careful

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    I'm so sick and tired of all this institutionalized victimhood. It makes westerners look like a bunch of pussies.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    I'd like that very much but until America stops terrorising the British with their cruel and unusual abuses of words like 'football' I don't think we can consider your kind as anything less than an enemy of the state.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    That's a very elaborate way for them to say "We give up, they win! Now let's make your lives Hell so they won't have to."

     

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  10.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Someone needs to educate government that humanity has survived thousands of years on this planet without the need for surveillance.

     

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  11.  
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    Duke (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 3:43pm

    A carefully-worded non-denial

    Some people have alleged that GCHQ is exploiting a technical loophole in legislation that allows them to intercept external communications - that is, communications either sent or received outside the UK - at will and without authorisation. This is... nonsense.
    Notice how she doesn't say that mass state surveillance isn't going on, she is merely saying that it isn't happening without authorisation. Personally I'd be rather shocked if she said that it was going on without authorisation as (if ministerial responsibility meant something) it would be her job on the line. The Government has already made it clear that it believes mass surveillance is perfectly legal, and the authorisation needed for it is simply a piece of paper, signed by May or one of her colleagues once every 6 months.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Are you somehow implying that we're not?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 6:12pm

    Forfeit your human right of privacy, and in return we'll offer you a false sense of safety and security. Otherwise known as authoritarian repression. Step right up!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 6:51pm

    Menopause is a terrible thing, Ms May.

     

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  15.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Soccer is used in the US, CN, NZ, and whatever the abbreviation of Australia is. Football is basically a non-English term.

     

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  16.  
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    saulgoode (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 7:53pm

    Re: A carefully-worded non-denial

    I was thinking the dodge was that they weren't "exploiting a technical loophole", they were just out-and-out ignoring the law.

     

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  17.  
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    AC, Jun 25th, 2014 @ 9:58pm

    The BBC was prescient

    The BBC miniseries 'The Last Enemy' may as well have been a documentary, sent back in time from 2014.

     

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  18.  
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    Dr. Les Dove, Jun 26th, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Torture in the UK

    The UK is a total Police-State in every respect. Don't let anyone there fool you into thinking otherwise.
    Read some of my reports on the UK intelligence services.

     

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  19.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jun 26th, 2014 @ 6:36am

    Re: Huh?

    you know, that is unexpectedly insightful...

    i've thought about these issues from many angles, but neglected to take that into consideration, GREAT POINT...

    as per usual, the ONLY people who don't know about the evil being done with OUR MONEY, is US; all the pakistanis, etc know they are being droned to death, its just that WE DON'T KNOW 'WE' are doing it...

    (not that there aren't a disappointing number of citizens who don't give a shit about droning poor brown people a half a planet away for no good -or legal- reason...)

    just like a lot of the secret squirrel stuff

     

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  20.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 26th, 2014 @ 10:24am

    Re: Torture in the UK

    Oh, I don't think anyone is fooled. That aspect of the UK is plainly obvious with just a casual glance. The sad thing is that the US keeps borrowing ideas from the UK (and vice versa) for how to make things even more police-statey.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Torture in the UK

    I always get annoyed when British people say "We're sleepwalking into a Police State."

    No, we're BEYOND that fucking point, now.

    That point is a dot on the horizon.

     

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  22.  
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    michael, Jun 26th, 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Above

    I would not believe anything the government told me, if they said it was Wednesday and it was actually Wednesday, I still would not believe them. I have never known so many liars work in one place, surely this is one for the book of records?

     

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  23.  
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    michael, Jun 26th, 2014 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Huh?

    They are, but you wouldn't want them to know that we know that they know that we know... you get the idea don't you?

     

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  24.  
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    GEMont, Jun 26th, 2014 @ 10:01pm

    ".... getting rather tired."

    Well, yeah, the excuse is rather tiresome, but damn, it works so well and has for so long without fail that there is no chance in hell that they're gonna replace it with another tired excuse any time soon.

    Why should they?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    TG, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 4:26am

    The whole "terrorists" thing wore thin years ago

    Most of these "terrorists" are false flags anyway, but even if they weren't, there are more pressing dangers facing the British people, like falling down the stairs or being electrocuted by their toasters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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