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UK Government Surveillance Faces Legal Challenge.. In Secret Court

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the matters-of-state-security dept.

United Kingdom 137

judgecorp writes "Privacy International is mounting a legal challenge against snooping by the UK government's intelligence agency GCHQ. But the case will be held in secret The group is challenging UK government access to Privacy, and the UK's own Tempora system, arguing that both allow 'indiscriminate' snooping because they operate in secrecy with a lack of legal oversight. All well and good — but the authorities have ruled that Privacy's challenge must be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which hears cases in secret and is under no obligation to explain or justify its verdicts."

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Don't Worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44222815)

This will all be overseen by the secret world government from their underground lair.

Re:All well and good (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about a year ago | (#44223081)

Cough! Ouchy!

Wouldn't it be ironic (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44222817)

Wouldn't it be ironic if someone had a hidden camera in the secret court

Re:Wouldn't it be ironic (5, Funny)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44222865)

A camera in a court sitting in-camera https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_camera [wikipedia.org] ironic, funny, insightful, informative or all of them?

Re:Wouldn't it be ironic (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44223121)

This one sounds more like camera obscura.

Sounds about right. (4, Funny)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44223375)

Sitting in the dark while viewing an inverted image of the outside world.

Re:Wouldn't it be ironic (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#44223607)

O tempora! O mores!

They will not peacefully give up their power (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44222825)

You need to find another way of neutralizing it.

Going nowhere (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44222829)

We all know the rule of law has broken down completely. I admire their approach, but we need to be realistic. Its the end of the road for our current way of life.

We're all just waiting for this to really kick in and its not going to be pretty when it does.

Re:Going nowhere (5, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44222897)

Defeatist attitude will certainly not help any of us one bit. If the current system is not working, one would think getting out of your seat and working for a replacement would be the obvious choice - leaning back on the couch is what got us in this mess to begin with.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44222947)

You are either naive or dumb, either way that's not good. Any replacement system will just evolve into a similar system as the one we have now.

Human nature does not change and neither does the scenery when walking in circles.

Re:Going nowhere (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44223055)

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

- Thomas Jefferson

No system is perfect. And no system will last forever. No matter how good the intentions of the original inventors, it will invariably eventually be perverted by people who do not believe in its core features, its system of privileges and responsibilities and who only want to retain privileges while shedding any and all responsibility.

But people who have only privileges and no responsibilities are useless for a society. Nobility learned that last century. This century will probably teach another part of society this lesson, that people simply don't need phony emperors with no clothes. Maybe we'll even live to see it.

How that change will come is to be determined. The later it comes, the less bloody it will be. Simply because more of the people who could defend the old system will see that it has failed and are not willing to prop it up anymore.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44223329)

No system is perfect. And no system will last forever. No matter how good the intentions of the original inventors, it will invariably eventually be perverted by people who do not believe in its core features

Well, you see that's why England has a natural advantage compared to the USA. Our core features are more or less:

1066: I'm the Kiiiiiiiing you will all obeeeeeey me. I shall slaughter you just in case you forget.
Magna Carta: lol no (in latin).

Honestly, how do you pervert that?

Re:Going nowhere (1)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#44223489)

Err, there is a bit more to the constitutional rights in England than that. I know that they aren't written down clearly (or at all), but courts have ruled that there are some unwritten constitutional rights under common law.

The magna carta does exist, you know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223517)

And it was written down. So your "(or at all)" is manifestly wrong.

Re:The magna carta does exist, you know. (2)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#44223625)

Magna Carta was for the benefit of the barons, not the general population. Perhaps you're thinking of a document from 1688.

Re:The magna carta does exist, you know. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223763)

Magna Carta was for the benefit of the barons, not the general population. Perhaps you're thinking of a document from 1688.

English law started at the top and worked its way down.

Unfortunately, it looks like American law started with rights for all and is now working its way back up.

Re:The magna carta does exist, you know. (4, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44223837)

> Unfortunately, it looks like American law started with rights for all and
> is now working its way back up.

Rights for ALL* in America!

* Some restrictions apply, applies to US residents before the signing of the constitution or born here afterwards. Void in the case of membership in native tribes. Must own significant land to qualify. Men only.

Re:The magna carta does exist, you know. (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44224445)

I never thought about it that way - I'll have to remember that one.

Re:Going nowhere (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44223659)

Easily, the same way it's perverted in the US.

1. Make people poor
2. Make defending your rights expensive
3. Break people's rights, knowing that nobody that bothers you has the money to stand up for them.
4. Profit.

Re:Going nowhere (-1, Redundant)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about a year ago | (#44223457)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

We really need our Patriots, especially now. Tyrants? Not so much. That being said, we've already spilled the blood of too many Patriots--let's start with the tyrants this time around. Perhaps then, we could bring our Patriots home.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223783)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

We really need our Patriots, especially now. Tyrants? Not so much. That being said, we've already spilled the blood of too many Patriots--let's start with the tyrants this time around. Perhaps then, we could bring our Patriots home.

I'm inclined to feel that a true patriot isn't someone who runs around screaming "We're #1" and brandishing popguns, it's someone who actually goes out with the understanding that their blood is nourishment for their nation's liberty.

Re:Going nowhere (1, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223605)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Thomas Jefferson was an American revolutionary. While you seem very keen on spilling the blood of patriots and tyrants, you aren't really addressing the real issue. In fact, as far as I recall you just completely ignore or try to assume it away every time it comes up. The problem involves this lot, and their brethren:

At Least 4,000 Suspected of Terrorism-Related Activity in Britain, MI5 Director Says [washingtonpost.com]
Muslim Gangs Enforce Sharia Law in London [gatestoneinstitute.org]

They have been actively plotting attacks, and used other means as well, to try to force their way of life on ordinary Britons. There have been many arrests and convictions in the UK as a result. A sample:

Bomb plot: Life sentence for Irfan Naseer, ringleader of Birmingham men planning wave of UK suicide attacks [independent.co.uk]
London terror bomb plot: the four terrorists [telegraph.co.uk]
7/7 London Attacks [bbc.co.uk]

Some of those cretins are quite willing to spill not just the blood of patriots and tyrants, but the blood of innocents as well. This has been amply demonstrated in Russia, Afghanistan, and other places.

Russia school siege toll tops 350 [cnn.com]
Acid attacks, poison: What Afghan girls risk by going to school [cnn.com]

Although you may think it wrong, the surveillance by GCHQ is a meaningful part of the security services efforts to protect ordinary Britons. You don't offer anything to replace it.

Waving your hands and saying no system is perfect isn't helpful. Polemics against the monarchy in a story on the UK are misplaced, and overthrowing the monarchy does nothing to protect Britons. What would you do to replace the surveillance to keep British subjects from harm? If your answer is something along the lines of, "Don't cause offense to the rest of the world. Pull back into a shell." then you have just demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the problem. The ideology of the extremists is an aggressive one; they mean to take over the world even if it takes 1,000 years. So we come to the question again: what would you do to prevent British schools and football stadiums from being drenched in blood, besides advocating the overthrow of the monarchy, which is in no way helpful at all?

Re:Going nowhere (2)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#44223665)

Re:Going nowhere (-1, Flamebait)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223743)

Yes, the problem is that random accidents and animal attacks are different than deliberate human actions.

Part of the reason that terrorism is under control in the UK, is that the authorities are taking reasonably effective action. You can tell that from the stream of arrests and convections on terrorism related offenses.

If you get this wrong it is easy for the numbers to change quickly. 9/11 - 2,973 dead. 7/7 - 52 dead. Bali - 202 dead. Madrid - 191 dead, 1841 wounded.
In Iraq they were suffering multiple attacks per week of this sort at times.

It would be unwise to grow complacent since the extremists won't be changing their minds, or giving up soon.

As for cameras and secret courts for bees, I doubt that sort of silliness will help, but it may prove popular among Python fans. Perhaps you could form a new ministry for it?

Re:Going nowhere (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#44224461)

You are also an extremist, cold fjord. You and the rest of your pro-authoritarian friends. Should we come after you as well? Surely you have commited the very same thoughtcrime as the most likely innocent muslims you call terrorists. The rest of us would prefer not to live in a police state. Not in the US. Not in the UK. Not anywhere. Liberty is far more important than any terrorist attacks.

Maybe you are deathly afraid of teh terrierists, but it appears to me that even venomous snakes are more of a menace. The number of people who die each year from terrorist attacks in the US or anywhere else is pretty close to zero. If there are terrorists everywhere as you seem to think then they are awfully lazy.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44224851)

I think this is a splendid example of the fringe thinking you keep posting.

Should we come after you as well? Surely you have commited the very same thoughtcrime as the most likely innocent muslims you call terrorists.

I'm not interested in "thought crime." I'm interested in preventing bombings, shootings, beheadings, poisonings, hijackings, and various other assorted crimes that occur outside of people's heads. The people that commit those crimes aren't "innocent," although they are innocent until proven guilty.

I don't think much of anyone is interested in creating a police state in the US or UK. By the same token I don't think the US or UK can reasonably be called a police state at the moment. If you do, then show evidence, not just declare it to be so.

It isn't that would-be terrorists in the US and UK are non-existent or lazy, but that they keep getting arrested before they can conduct a meaningful attack. Effective intelligence and police work is keeping the problem largely under control. That can change, and you seem unconcerned about it. Your view seems to be: "Die well my fellow countrymen" so long as no government minion passes near your phone number (which is public information).

Re:Going nowhere (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44224729)

Yes, the problem is that random accidents and animal attacks are different than deliberate human actions.

How? The equivalent of the overreaching anti-terrorism controls in order to protect oneself from the miniscule number of actual terrorists would be to lock yourself in your house and if you do go out, wrap yourself up in bubble wrap and a kevlar hazmat suit. And that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it. It's pretty bloody easy to deal with terrorism, the point is, are you willing to change your whole life (and your view on morality) to do so?

If you get this wrong it is easy for the numbers to change quickly. 9/11 - 2,973 dead. 7/7 - 52 dead. Bali - 202 dead. Madrid - 191 dead, 1841 wounded.
In Iraq they were suffering multiple attacks per week of this sort at times.

I don't think any amount of controls would prevent terrorism in the UK if we'd seen a total of about 1,200,000* people killed in the last 33 years

* Multiplied by 2 as Iraq's current population is about 31 million, where as the UK is about 63 million
Iran/Iraq war
150,000 - 375,000 soldiers
100,000 Civilians
50,000 - 100,000 Civilians in Al-Anfal campaign

Gulf war
20,000 - 35,0000 soldiers
3,600 civilians

Gulf War II
28,000 - 37,000 soldiers
103,000 - 113,000 civilians (estimates for violent deaths are as high as 645,000)

Re:Going nowhere (1)

julesh (229690) | about a year ago | (#44224825)

Yes, the problem is that random accidents and animal attacks are different than deliberate human actions.

Why?

What makes it more important to give up our liberties to prevent terrorism than to give up our liberties to prevent accidental death caused by wild animals? Analyse the logic behind the sentiment, and I think you will find it an utterly irrational and thus indefensible emotional reaction in a situation where a cool, analytical reaction is more appropriate (because what we stand to lose is very valuable).

Re:Going nowhere (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44223841)

At Least 4,000 Suspected of Terrorism-Related Activity in Britain, MI5 Director Says

You trust that guy? Do you really expect him to say "there are hardly any terrorists, feel free to reduce my budget"? He offers no evidence. There have been scant few convictions or deportations.

Look at it another way, I randomly and with no evidence accuse you of being a terrorist. There are not 4001 suspects.

Muslim Gangs Enforce Sharia Law in London

Some trolls with a camera phone go around being trolls. You fell for their scam and now think there are large areas that are "Muslim only" or under Sharia law, where the police don't dare go.

You go on to talk about British football stadiums being drenched in blood. If you seriously believe that is likely to happen and MI5/GCHQ are the only ones preventing it you are delusional. Even when they know the terrorists they can't stop them knifing people to death in the streets or bombing metropolitan areas or attacking airports. If what you suggest was true there would be some evidence of more of these plots, because even with the current level of surveillance they can't be stopped.

Although you may think it wrong, the surveillance by GCHQ is a meaningful part of the security services efforts to protect ordinary Britons. You don't offer anything to replace it.

Redirect those staff to doing more traditional detective work. I believe that would make us safer, but even if you could prove it would result in more terrorist attacks it would be worth it just to preserve our freedom and way of life. Freedom isn't free, and security isn't worth it at any cost.

The ideology of the extremists is an aggressive one; they mean to take over the world even if it takes 1,000 years.

Unfortunately when their kids find out about Hollywood movies and delicious pork they tend to forget all that stuff and become westernised. There are always exceptions, but they are mostly idiots who have proven themselves to be totally incompetent and unable to harm us even when they try.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44223853)

I doubt link-spamming is going to help you against people who feel that individual liberties often take precedence over safety.

Re:Going nowhere (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223929)

I think you've made it quite clear in the past that you are indifferent to the prospect of the mass slaughter of your fellow citizens, and you aren't alone in that regard. You don't really have much to offer in the discussion other than the hope that they will die well, and that no minion of the government pass near your phone number. Most other people in society are able to make more nuanced judgments about what the government might do that has no meaningful impact on personal liberty.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44223959)

I think you've made it quite clear in the past that you are indifferent to the prospect of the mass slaughter of your fellow citizens

Indifferent? I believe that I'm merely not so naive as to have so much faith in those given so much power and the ability to act in secrecy.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44223865)

Hmmm, let's see... what would make those people do these things? It may have to do with the way the Western world treats the Middle East... The pampering of Israel, two Gulf wars that cost hundreds of thousands of lives to make sure we will keep thick and rich streams of oil coming our way, the way we placed and removed dictators in that area... Maybe the locals there don't like us so much. And wit 'us' I mean not the US alone, but also most of Europe. As we all know, the EU is deep in bed with the US.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223993)

A predictable answer, and completely wrong. You obviously have no idea what al Qaida and the like minded want. Ultimately what they want isn't so much the US, UK, Europe, et. al, out of the Middle East, but rather that the US, UK, Europe and the rest of the world to convert to Islam and be governed by Sharia law. Do you understand that? They want to revive the Islamic Caliphate that was dissolved in 1923 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, change the governments in Muslim countries to rule according to their strict interpretation of Sharia law, and finish the conquest of the rest of the world for Islam.

Their grievance doesn't go back to simply 1923, but to 1683 and the Battle of Vienna, in which Europe repelled the last Muslim invasion. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas teaches the children that they need to retake Spain for the glory of Islam.

Their aggression is unrelated to anything done in the last century. It is based on their understanding of Islam. This problem won't go away soon.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44224239)

Jesus fucking Christ, the data rape going on there is brutal. You conveniently forget to mention that the year 1683 lies at the end of a 700 year period of brutal persecution, crusades and general mayhem, all founded on religion (on the surface) but boiling down to "more power for me, less for you". And you could probably tally the losses on both "sides" of that conflict, but in reality it was everybody against everybody.

It seems to me like you have absolutely no clue what these groups want, and why they're acting the way they do. It's so much easier to just attribute their motives to a fucking 400 year old battle, than actually spending a bit of time reading something other than the party pamphlet you've been handed. Or hey, how about this, you talk to some of the people that knows, I'm sure they're all around you. A good point to start is reading the english version of Al Jazeera [aljazeera.com] , they're just as biased in their news coverage as the western medias, but it will give you a good glimpse of what is actually, truly going on. It also provides a counter balance to the deep indoctrination you've experienced.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223889)

Hey, here's a novel idea: how about we assume innocence until proven guilty. How about we examine the reasons and motives of people who try to harm you, and not just chalking it up to the in fashion meme of terrorist. Maybe even take a looooong hard look at foreign policy and maybe try to identify the overall reasons as to why someone would go to such great lengths to inflict harm on total strangers halfway around the world. I think you will find that the commonly perceived reason of religion is just as much a sham as the terrorist boogeyman is for the police state.

Yeah, I realise that would undermine your agenda (of which we've seen plenty here on /. already), but you should really give it a try, it might even make for some more good talking points.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

Jean Taureau (2195790) | about a year ago | (#44223995)

I don't object to survellance by GCHQ, I'd just like it to be targeted rather than blanket ... and carried out _within_ the framework that parliament agreed rather than finding loopholes that allow it to work _outside_ that framework.

Call me old-fasinoned, but I still believe the only way to ensure that the terrorists don't win is for the country to take it on the chin when terrorists strike and then carry on as normal. Anything else, any knee-jerk reaction, any retalliation, any security or survelliance clamp-down that dissrupts peoples day-to-day lives and the terrorists have already won, they got what they wanted. The trouble is the terrorists aren't the only ones with a vested interest in that outcome.

Re:Going nowhere (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224249)

...*Fear based rhetoric*...

Although you may think it wrong, the surveillance by GCHQ is a meaningful part of the security services efforts to protect ordinary Britons. You don't offer anything to replace it.

...*More fear based rhetoric*...

Look, I'm sorry you Yanks got your panties in a knot over one attack on home soil. I'm sorry that all your idealism didn't do shit to shield your sad little minds from the "terror" of living in the real world where the insulation of "X has talent" and "X can dance" TV shows hasn't kept you from seeing the enemies you've made.

  But this isn't new shit for us Brits - we've been getting bombed and "terrorised" in our colonies and home country for decades now. We've had the European immigrants into Israel bombing us out of the country, half a dozen countries in Europe that are now our 'friends' trying the same shit, and the bloody Irish separatists using everything from nail bombs to car bombs - it got so bad that people weren't able to put their bins on the street on collection day cause some sod might hide a bomb there.

True enough there are some fat lazy slobs in the commons now that were probably safe in their country home when all that shit was going on - but now they have to be in the center of London for their job - so we have to put up with this shit because of their fear.

But the last thing we need is fretful little cowards like you telling us how important this shite is! It's old news that doesn't concern any of us and you won't make us hate anyone but you and the other cowards. You certainly won't turn us against any of our friends who happen to be of different faiths - at least no any of us that weren't already rabid, froth-mouthed EDL members. The only country that has lost any UK supporters in the last decade has been the US - and that's only going to get worse as people like you continue to shout the loudest.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

julesh (229690) | about a year ago | (#44224879)

If I hadn't already posted, you'd be getting a +1 Insightful. Well said.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

co1d fjord (2956633) | about a year ago | (#44224397)

Hi, my name is cold fjord, and I kick puppies to death for business and fun. One dog I slaughtered with my foot told me that the parent poster to this post eats the leavings of rodents.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223057)

Well, that is precisely the attitude I was pointing to in my original reply, defeatist. We're not trying to change human nature, that would be idiotic, and to suggest that is what it takes is equally idiotic. Human nature boils down to: eat, survive, reproduce, yet we have consistently moved forward with our understanding of the world around us, despite the drag of the reptilian brain functions. We have even managed to organize in groups to accomplish rather astounding things, despite our predatory, self-centered nature. To invoke "human nature" as a reason to not do anything is just as stupid as using the "terrorist" meme to justify large scale espionage operations.

Spewing semi philosophical one liners is certainly not the solution to our current problems, and leaning back on the couch to "watch the fireworks" is not going to help you, me or anyone either.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

MarlowBardling (2860885) | about a year ago | (#44223345)

However, a large number of people are in situations they find morally questionable, or are simply just a bit too comfortable to actually do more.
With few open and obvious results to writing campaigns, calling and emailing representatives, and even voting, venting is bound to happen.
The more that is heard about secret courts and secret laws, the less the public feels they are actually in control of their government.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

polar red (215081) | about a year ago | (#44223065)

let's just put our heads on the chopping block. It doesn't matter anyway.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44223131)

Any replacement system will just evolve into a similar system as the one we have now.

Or we might, you know, develop an advanced and completely disinterested AI system and let it manage us the way that we deserve.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223163)

Quite frankly, given my current situation, "watching the fireworks" sounds like a plan.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44223195)

No thanks. I don't want to be treated as an ugly bag of mostly water...

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223295)

As opposed to the current treatment of "a resource to be exploited by those in power, then discarded"?

Re:Going nowhere (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223797)

Any replacement system will just evolve into a similar system as the one we have now.

Or we might, you know, develop an advanced and completely disinterested AI system and let it manage us the way that we deserve.

I hear SkyNet is totally uninterested in petty human squabblings.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44223287)

Technology changes though. Technology is what made mass-monitoring possible - without modern communications and computers, the USSR could only dream of recording every conversation. They were limited by how many agents they could afford. Just a technology make mass-monitoring possible, it can also provide the countermeasure: Encryption and decentralised, anonymous communication protocols.

To Technology: The cause of, and solution to, all of our problems.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223567)

Well, that and beer, no political problems have ever been solved on an empty glass.

I get your point, that encrypting your communications would solve the current problem of surveillance. The thing is though, that the surveillance is just a symptom of a much more profound problem, i.e. rotten governments. Encrypting your email is only patching a hole, not really solving a problem.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223769)

Human nature does not change and neither does the scenery when walking in circles

Sure, that's why we still slaves in society. Or maybe not, because we were intelligent enough to change that.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223403)

Meh, it was inevitable, it's just kinda sad that everything deteriorated so quickly.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223757)

We all know the rule of law has broken down completely. I admire their approach, but we need to be realistic. Its the end of the road for our current way of life.

We're all just waiting for this to really kick in and its not going to be pretty when it does.

Now, we don't know that the rule of law has truly broken down. We're just not allowed to see what the laws are.

Today we're all into asymmetric warfare. Terrorists cannot muster large armies, so they sneak-attack civilians. Governments amass detailed and indiscriminate information on citizens, but object if anyone else is allowed any information.

Rubber stamp (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44222833)

The UK where Justice must never be seen, and preferably not done.

Re:Rubber stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223453)

A covert court!
Looks like the Leked and their LFOI and Tory FOI chums are donning the `ol "nothing to see here" skullcaps....
Outright skullduggery involving the Irish office of Zuckerburger`s FB, AMDOCS, Akemai, the Territorial Police computer systems, and the spookier falafel-munching mi6, not to mention the G4S-housed Cheltenham GCHQ workers.....

Usually in tennis (increasingly so these days with the cameras) the Umpire makes good calls; in this case of Covert Courts, no monkey see, no monkey doo! doo koo?

Re:Rubber stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223531)

As opposed to the USA where it's routinely seen not to be done.

Oh well... (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#44222845)

I guess that governments value their privacy as well.

Re:Oh well... (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year ago | (#44222867)

Like when the world is being spied upon. That is an American matter.
But when you spy on diplomats. Suddenly Obama gets phone calls.

Re:Oh well... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44223575)

a secret court that gives secret permissions investigating disputes in secret, and the issue is about other peoples secrets being violated by secret powers.
it's getting pretty hard to argue that any democratic principles are being upheld...

the problem is obviously that the secret organizations included in this could blackmail people in secret if they wanted to, they could do number of things in secret. even fabricate secrets in secret meetings, to demand secret actions. because of the total lack of transparency you could pretty well just conclude that they are running the UK since in practice they could have unlimited powers of which you couldn't talk about since they're secrets with secret punishments for talking about them.

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44222885)

"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. [...] there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it." - JFK

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44223063)

Jeesh! He dared to actually SAY that? No wonder he was shot...

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223683)

If you read the complete original quote [wikiquote.org] it is clear that his meaning was more nuanced than it appears in those selected lines.

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224483)

More nuanced, yes, but not to the end that you seem to advocate. If that speech represented his views, he would not be ok with setting up a system like those we have in place here.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223677)

You left out some of that quote [wikiquote.org] , including the clarifying sentence in the middle of the two you quoted, and a meaningful bit at the end:

We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today

And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

JFK wasn't stating there should be no secrets, but that keeping them should be well justified. I don't think his administration published American war plans, nuclear force readiness reports, or the encryption keys for military and diplomatic communications, for example.

Too many people here are distorting history and mangling quotes to try to justify the extremist position that government should have no secrets. That is dangerous nonsense. Good democratic government should be transparent, but that doesn't mean that every citizen gets to see everything. Some things should be limited to the legislature or parliament, and even then perhaps to only specific designated members.

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223877)

Quotes/sound bites are by their very nature distortions. However, they also distill the essence of a more nuanced but longer expression, or they aren't quotes, they're mis-quotes.

there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it

Or, if you prefer something pithier and more immediate:

We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo

Which actually was used in reference to pollution in the particular book I have, although it applies well to many things, and I think actually was used more than once even in the original comic for different purposes.

Any democracy that possesses an army is a paradox, because an army is in many ways the antithesis of democracy. In a democracy, all are supposed to have equal power and be equally informed. In an army, power delegates from an individual, and information is often "need to know" only.

If there's a way for a true democracy to exist on this planet without an army, however, that way is beyond my ken. Or even - before the nitpickers kick in - a Democratic Republic. Still, the USA is founded on democratic principles and it bodes ill when an army-style approach is allowed to subvert it. Or even gain excessive control over it. And that, in essence, is what Kennedy was warning against.

Yes, there are a certain number of people here (and elsewhere) who are absolutely opposed to any and all secrecy. There are absolutists in all things, but in real life, absolute anything rarely works. Just because there are absolutists, however, doesn't mean that the core issue can be discounted. Even if you don't buy into fertilizing the Tree of Liberty with blood, it's definitely time to freshen the mulch.

Re:The very word "secrecy" is repugnant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224601)

So, your "arguments" have devolved into misguided appeals to authority. Despite saying essentially the opposite, JFK would have wanted a set of secret laws and secret courts and a lack of accountability to the public, so we should too?

Star Chamber (4, Interesting)

dido (9125) | about a year ago | (#44222923)

Might as well reopen the Star Chamber [wikipedia.org] while they're at it.

Re:Star Chamber (3, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#44223473)

No need to reopen it. This IS the star chamber.

Re:Star Chamber (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44223855)

Might as well reopen the Star Chamber [wikipedia.org] while they're at it.

No, I don't think you want that, and the The Investigatory Powers Tribunal [ipt-uk.com] is clearly not the Star Chamber [wikipedia.org] .

The Star Chamber tried British subjects, powerful ones that might otherwise escape justice at the beginning. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is essentially a complaint resolution mechanism [ipt-uk.com] for complaints regarding government actions.

If you dislike the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a new Star Chamber would be far worse since it could come after you.

the revolution (2)

polar red (215081) | about a year ago | (#44222937)

The revolution is coming. any day now. really. Yes. Now could be a good time. well ???

Re:the revolution (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44223071)

Too early. Give it a few years.

We need more people in the countries' "middle management" to realize that it's time for a change. We want a GDR 1989, not a GDR 1953.

Re:the revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223091)

Revolution is a staggeringly stupid way to change a regime if elections are still happening. I would be the first to admit that the UK electoral system could be improved, but it is vastly superior to selecting a new leader by violence, where the number of votes you get is determined by how many guns you have and how willing you are to kill people with them.

Re:the revolution (2)

polar red (215081) | about a year ago | (#44223129)

Violence isn't my first choice either, but are you assuming your choice in the election matters ?

Re:the revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223181)

Elections are a great way of changing the desktop wallpaper colour of your "democracy"

Re:the revolution (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44223953)

Elections are a great way of changing the desktop wallpaper colour of your "democracy"

Then you're doing it wrong. First, overhaul your local government. There are fewer people outvoting you and they are one of the biggest pools of candidates for the next level up. Then repeat at the next level. And so forth.

And above all else, join a party, if your state doesn't permit open elections, but don't vote for a party or an ideology. One reason why we get such screwball candidates for the top positions is that the extremists are choosing the candidates. No one else bothers.

"Freedom isn't Free" is typically plastered with an image of a raptor and implications that guns are required. The truth is, the REAL price of Freedom these days is much harder. It involves becoming well-informed not just about the causes, but the people who pretend to espouse them, and involves going out and voting in all those piddling little elections that "don't count". It's hard work. And, unlike an armed conflict, it never ends.

Re:the revolution (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223283)

Of course it matters, the problem is that in order to affect change you need to convince the majority that their vote also matters, and that not toeing the party line is not a wasted vote. I don't think a regime like the one in the UK can withstand prolonged dissent stemming from rigged elections, so voting for change would eventually affect change, granted, it might take a few elections. In this context, change doesn't mean voting for the opposing party though, but voting (or running) for a party or group that believes in the change you wish to see. Just flipping across the middle to vote opposite doesn't change much if we assume that they're all alike.

On the subject of violent revolution, I highly doubt any good can come of the use of violence. We shouldn't be so eager in handing out judgements and accepting death as payment for having a different view of the world. I'd be wary of accepting a new government that got into power by sheer number of guns, that feels very much like "meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

Re:the revolution (2)

polar red (215081) | about a year ago | (#44223387)

Maybe a 'property-reset' is the way to go? initialize every bank-account with for example 5000 GBP/EUR/USD/... and everybody with more than 1 house must choose 1 to keep.

Re:the revolution (1)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#44223477)

Nah, society would collapse. Much easier to just have a rolling reset through progressive taxes. This something the US hasn't learnt yet, with its regressive taxes.

Re:the revolution (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223519)

I think that would only amount to a reset of capitalistic tendencies, similar to how it was done in Germany after the second world war. It would favor people who already have assets not explicitly covered by the reset, people with networks and flexible morality would still come out ahead of the rest of us. The vast majority of people who have nothing already would only temporarily gain from it, and my concern is that society would settle back into a track we're already very familiar with.

The problem, as I see it, is the notion of property to begin with. The right to own property is deeply ingrained in the constitutions of most democracies, but there really is no justification as to why someone should own part of the globe we're all inhabitants of. It's a relic of feudalism, a necessary evil to make democracy tolerable to the nobility that would stand to loose power in the shift, and I can't really see any argument that it should continue to be so.

I like the idea of resetting, and cleaning the slate and to do away with the centuries old family fortunes. I think it needs to be done from a vantage point of a revised understanding of society, where we acknowledge that we need to work together and look beyond personal gains in order to promote the welfare of the entire group we belong to. For instance, if the grocer at the store didn't ask me for money when I do my shopping, I would have no need to ask my employer for a paycheck every month to pay the grocer.

Re:the revolution (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year ago | (#44223579)

Of course it matters, the problem is that in order to affect change you need to convince the majority that their vote also matters, and that not toeing the party line is not a wasted vote. I don't think a regime like the one in the UK can withstand prolonged dissent stemming from rigged elections, so voting for change would eventually affect change, granted, it might take a few elections. In this context, change doesn't mean voting for the opposing party though, but voting (or running) for a party or group that believes in the change you wish to see. Just flipping across the middle to vote opposite doesn't change much if we assume that they're all alike.

There are several issues:
- None of the main parties are actually seriously interested in reversing the trend towards a police state. The best you get is an occasional promise to block the trend on one specific piece of legislation, not block it across the board or reverse it. In the current first-past-the-post system, anyone who isn't one of the main parties doesn't stand much chance, so "form your own party then" isn't an answer.
- Too many voters vote for the same party in each election just because thats the party they always vote for, rather than because of their policies.
- We have to elect parties based on *all* their manifesto, we can't cherry pick some promises from one party and some from another. This means that if you have a party offering to improve the economy and trash civil liberties running against a party that will trash the economy and improve civil liberties, the civil liberties arguement often takes a back seat, even though these are separate issues.
- Pretty much all the parties have shown to be untrustworthy with respect to their election promises, so whichever way you vote you have no idea what the party is going to actually do if they get into power.
- Far too many people vote how the papers tell them to vote rather than actually thinking these issues through themselves.
- Far too many people vote with a short term attitude - they're interested in being able to put food on the table tomorrow rather than whether they might be "disappeared" for wrong-thinking in 30 years time.
- The same old people are in the civil service, no matter who gets elected into government. The civil service have a *lot* of influence and it would be hard for a government to continually have to push back against them.

All these points come together to mean that the result of elections is always going to be minor variations of "same old same old".

(FWIW, I'm of the opinion that "you have a duty to vote, so you must vote no matter what" is a bad idea - if you have no interest in the issues at hand then you *shouldn't* vote - if you vote then you're just diluting the votes of people who do care about this stuff.)

On the subject of violent revolution, I highly doubt any good can come of the use of violence.

Well, the "good" that can come from a violent revolution is that a smaller number of people can effect change. You don't need to do the impossible task of convincing millions of apathetic people to actually _think_ in order to effect change. Of course, the change may not be for the better, but I see very little chance of there being real change in any direction through the current democratic system.

I'm sure you can look back through history and find plenty of violent revolutions that led to long term improvements to societies, even though they cause short term pain.

We shouldn't be so eager in handing out judgements and accepting death as payment for having a different view of the world. I'd be wary of accepting a new government that got into power by sheer number of guns, that feels very much like "meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

I too would be very wary of such a government. Although I'm not sure I would be any more wary of them than the current one - the current government already seems to be handing out judgements for having a different view of the world.

Re:the revolution (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#44223645)

The thing is that unless you live in a constituency where a Cabinet member is your MP you never get a chance to vote for or against them.

Re:the revolution (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44223777)

Very well thought out reply, so thank you for that. I agree with pretty much all your points, and I see it as an elaboration of my initial point on the voting public in general not being willing enough to understand the issues. Where I vote it's the exact same problems as you list, fellow voters voting for the usual suspects, because that's how it's always been, and 100 years ago, this or that party was [insert group]'s voice. I also agree that it is a huge problem that we cannot pick a subset from the manifestos presented, but have to swallow it all. Add to that, the performance angle of politics, where Goldilocks Pearltooth gets his votes based on his looks on camera or his ability to speak to a crowd without pissing himself. And I hate it when you can engage in a discussion with a coworker, and after 2 minutes they're out of arguments, because they only read the headlines and didn't bother forming their own opinion.

I would however like to point out that the system in place now is a continuation of centuries, if not millennia, of violent revolutions giving room for new kinds of governments (in some cases, re-instituting old ones), and as such we could argue that violent revolution has led us here once already. Violence is a short cut frequently taken to affect change more rapidly, but we really ought to be able to affect the same change with debate now. The crucial missing piece in this puzzle, as I see it, is combating apathy. It will take a hell of a lot longer to achieve the same goal, but I do think the quality of the result will be significantly better.

Also, I do believe in the right to live, and that it extends to everyone, no matter how retarded their views may be. I can relate to the sentiment of wanting to punch someone in the mouth for regurgitating the same nonsense they heard on the evening news last night, but so far I've refrained :)

Re:the revolution (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year ago | (#44223893)

I would however like to point out that the system in place now is a continuation of centuries, if not millennia, of violent revolutions giving room for new kinds of governments (in some cases, re-instituting old ones), and as such we could argue that violent revolution has led us here once already.

Indeed; but the result of the last violent revolution has produced many years of reasonably good government; but there is an ongoing progression towards totalitarianism and its my opinion that the only way that trend will be reversed is through another revolution (which would hopefully result in many more years of good government). I hope I'm wrong, but I just can't see anything else that would reverse the trend. It seems to me that we have something of a cycle - we get a liberal government which progressively tends towards oppressiveness, eventually it becomes too oppressive, the people revolt and the whole cycle starts over.

I would go on to say that I'm not a big believer in democracy - I think its right that an informed public have a choice, but its my opinion that the vast majority of the electorate are not informed and have no desire to become informed, yet will still vote and dilute the choice of the people who *actually* know what theyr'e talking about.

A good example I'd like to cite is power generation - I *don't* want the public to be the ones deciding whether to build nuclear power stations because most of the public seem to think that nuclear power stations are on the brink of going Chernobyl all the time and will doom the world. I want the people who actually know what they're talking about to figure this stuff out. The thorny issue there is how do you separate the people who know what they're talking about from the people who are voting for something they have a vested interest in? This seems to be a big problem with the current rich MPs, since with their riches seem to come a propensity to have vested interests in a lot of things they're supposed to be making unbiassed decisions on. I think a lot could be achieved by returning to the idea that the House of Commons should be made up of *commoners*, not just the upper classes.

The crucial missing piece in this puzzle, as I see it, is combating apathy. It will take a hell of a lot longer to achieve the same goal, but I do think the quality of the result will be significantly better.

I think the main reason for apethy is that even with a hell of a lot of work, the government rarely changes their core attitudes to accommodate the public. They change some superficial stuff that the media happens to be making a big fuss about at the moment, but that's about it. Pandering to the media's short-term stories is a more effective vote winner than pandering to the big long-term issues.

Also, I do believe in the right to live, and that it extends to everyone, no matter how retarded their views may be. I can relate to the sentiment of wanting to punch someone in the mouth for regurgitating the same nonsense they heard on the evening news last night, but so far I've refrained :)

To be clear - I believe everyone has the right to live and no one has the right to kill (except as a last resort for self defence), and I'm certainly not promoting the idea of a violent revolution. All I'm saying is that I can't currently see any other way the trend towards a police state will be reversed - I hope I'm wrong.

Re:the revolution (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44224075)

I hope I'm wrong, but I just can't see anything else that would reverse the trend. It seems to me that we have something of a cycle - we get a liberal government which progressively tends towards oppressiveness, eventually it becomes too oppressive, the people revolt and the whole cycle starts over.

I think you're right, but I'm loathe to accept the logical conclusion to that line of reasoning. I firmly believe that there must be another way, but attempts at an alternative logical conclusion have been feeble, we've had debates on everything in our society except the foundation of society itself (I don't count the debates about free speech and the right to insult large swathes of the population on that ground as actual debate though). I guess to meet you halfway I could argue that the threat of violence would work almost as well.

I would go on to say that I'm not a big believer in democracy - I think its right that an informed public have a choice, but its my opinion that the vast majority of the electorate are not informed and have no desire to become informed, yet will still vote and dilute the choice of the people who *actually* know what theyr'e talking about.

I also tend to agree that democracy is not an optimal solution, and I think some great minds have said something to that effect too (something about democracy being the least repulsive option for governance). I think what you're referring to is technocracy?

Regarding the power generation issue, there are other concerns with nuclear power that are not immediately obvious. For instance, imagine we replaced all power plants in existence now with nuclear plants, we'd in effect just shift the reason to go to war from oil to uranium. There is also the issue of waste, and the current solution of shoveling it into a pit and hope nobody digs it up right away is unsustainable. The environmentalist in me would rejoice if nuclear power was used to replace industrial revolution era coal and oil plants, but with the stipulation that the waste problem be solved beforehand, and that a viable source of fuel were to be found - fusion would solve that, but meh.

Pandering to the media's short-term stories is a more effective vote winner than pandering to the big long-term issues.

The media plays too large a role in modern politics, and that causes everything to devolve into a fight for the lowest common denominator. This is detrimental to us all, because the lowest common denominator is also the easiest to manipulate. A form of blind democracy could be formulated, where there are no spokesperson for a cause, and you could only vote for a proposed solution on it's merit, without a charming figurehead to shovel it down your throat.

Imagine an election where the ballot only consisted of 4 year plans (or any other number of years, perhaps even variable) with accompanying information to help you decide, no names, no parties, just solutions to problems.

Re:the revolution (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year ago | (#44224273)

Regarding the power generation issue, there are other concerns with nuclear power that are not immediately obvious. For instance, imagine we replaced all power plants in existence now with nuclear plants, we'd in effect just shift the reason to go to war from oil to uranium. There is also the issue of waste, and the current solution of shoveling it into a pit and hope nobody digs it up right away is unsustainable.

Of course. I wasn't intending my example to suggest that nuclear is definitely the right option, just to point out that the people making the decisions should be those in charge of all the facts, not the people who seem to be under the impression that nuclear power stations are continually on the brink of causing an enormous disaster (which clearly they aren't - there have been very few nuclear power related accidents and even fewer that have caused serious environmental harm).

The environmentalist in me would rejoice if nuclear power was used to replace industrial revolution era coal and oil plants, but with the stipulation that the waste problem be solved beforehand, and that a viable source of fuel were to be found - fusion would solve that, but meh.

Well, the problem has largely been solved for years (breeder reactors _do_ work to massively reduce waste, although have a proliferation risk), but burying things in the ground is unfortunately cheaper and less risky for the stakeholders. I guess what's needed is for a government to spearhead the whole thing, but its a sensitive environmental issue and the british government at least doesn't like getting involved in such things as they polarise the electorate.

A form of blind democracy could be formulated, where there are no spokesperson for a cause, and you could only vote for a proposed solution on it's merit, without a charming figurehead to shovel it down your throat.

Imagine an election where the ballot only consisted of 4 year plans (or any other number of years, perhaps even variable) with accompanying information to help you decide, no names, no parties, just solutions to problems.

Sounds lovelly, but wherever there is an issue to be decided, there are people with vested interests who will promote the issue using the most photogenic media friendly people they can. Even if those people aren't directly part of the government, they will exist purely by virtue of third parties having a vested interest.

Re:the revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223269)

>elections
>UK

Yeah, 'cause that's worked soo~oo well, hasn't it?

pix or it didn't happen (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44222955)

Aside from the obvious abuse of power inherent in the absence of accountability of secret trials, there's the equally obvious problem of undocumented law and its considerable potential for abuse. Regulation is by definition documented. And one of the benefits of that is that one has some idea of the lines which shouldn't be crossed.

Secret rulings by unaccountable courts mean secret laws which can then be selectively enforced by the only people who know the contents of those rulings, including their features and context. I think it should be a broad principle that such secret courts should never exist in a democratic society.

Re:pix or it didn't happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223103)

I think it should be a broad principle that such secret courts should never exist in a democratic society.

Another broad principle is that undocumented work shouldn't be paid for.

If they can't prove that they didn't spend the time in an orgy of tea and cookies then it should be counted as vacation time.

Re:pix or it didn't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223349)

I think it should be a broad principle that such secret courts should never exist in a democratic society.

Another broad principle is that undocumented work shouldn't be paid for.

If they can't prove that they didn't spend the time in an orgy of tea and cookies then it should be counted as vacation time.

Yes, and I'm certain they'll have real heartache not being paid their measly public salary, while accepting millions in bribes during secret court (stored in offshore accounts of course, made possible by other secret agreements).

These are secret processions which can and will result in innocent people being accused of serious crimes with no way of defending themselves (consider your "defense" after being labeled a "terrorist" these days).

And the best fucking thing you can come up with...is to charge them vacation time?!?

Talk about fucking delusional.

Re:pix or it didn't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223407)

And the best fucking thing you can come up with...is to charge them vacation time?!?

Talk about fucking delusional.

At the moment NSA doesn't provide you with any information of what they are doing.
What exactly do you think will happen when their funding is cut down to $0? That they will run on bribes only?

Yeah not surprised. (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44223043)

I think it was oh 8 months ago or so, I made a comment about how the UK was no longer adhering to the basic tenets of democracy and have basically thrown the shitter, and then burning it. I got modded down, flamed, and people said I was full of shit then. Yeah well, I guess I was right then as much as I was right now. Get's worse of course, that the UK is blocking people who might offend the "violent minority" and in turn speaking the truth isn't conducive to the public good.

Re:Yeah not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223327)

Get's

Is that possessive or a contraction?

Re:Yeah not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224697)

It's yet another Brit who can't spell.

Secret court, is that the one ... (4, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | about a year ago | (#44223073)

... where they hide the kangaroo really well?

George Orwell Was an Optimist ... (4, Insightful)

trydk (930014) | about a year ago | (#44223153)

... and Terry Gilliam's Brazil depicts a Utopia compared to today's standards.

Terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44223713)

Do not negotiate with terrorists.

Error in summary? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44223751)

UK government access to Privacy

Should that be "access to PRISM"?

Down the 400-year-long snake... (2)

Archtech (159117) | about a year ago | (#44223881)

"Privacy's challenge must be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which hears cases in secret and is under no obligation to explain or justify its verdicts."

Otherwise known as "The Court of Star Chamber".

Illegal? (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44223911)

Isn't a secret court illegal?

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