Monday, 31 October 2011

Beware The Bogey Man The Disingenuous and The Back Door

We witnessed it with the Patriot Act, although in the case of Bush, even that wasn't enough, Bushco and the American state going on to engage in all kinds of illegal domestic activities, from.... well you name it.

But what we did witness, was the wheeling out the terrorism bogey man and subsequently the enactment of the Patriot act, that did for privacy and civil rights in one fell swoop, what the Taliban did for cultural appreciation. Guardian, video below.

There is another bogey man I want to make mention of, and although not directly related to the main body of this post, it is important that I mention it for reasons manifold.

Voter disenfranchisement has been around in the US for long enough, but is seemingly ever on the increase in the red states of America. And shamelessly so I have to say; well it would be wouldn't it? Shame and Republican, being two words that don't belong in the same sentence.

I'm not going to explain the nuts and bolts of it all, but do Google it for yourselves. It's quite an eye-opener, even if you are somewhat au fait with the US voting system, even more so if you are not.

But it is under the guise of voter fraud, albeit so minuscule that it could, and should be ignored, nevertheless, this is the bogey man that Republican held states and districts offer, quite transparently and shamelessly, as the excuse to enact restrictions, usually in the form of voter ID, on that section of the public that would normally be associated with voting Democrat.

Update: The Guardian has a piece on this.

The Republican 'voter fraud' fraud

All over the US, GOP lawmakers have engineered schemes to make voting more difficult. Well, if you can't win elections fairly… Guardian

More recently and closer to home however, we have witnessed the use of, and not always for reasons noble, that most emotive of bogey men, the paedophile.

And what better example do we need of seeing the paedo bogey man being run out, and for sure without a noble reason in sight, than that of Jim Gamble, recently of the CEOP.

In chronological order I reference three previous posts, all featuring the use of emotive bogey man to further someone's agenda, an agenda I have to say, where the protection of children slips down the ladder of priorities. We only need to recall Jim Gambles attempts to whitewash the McCanns to have that observation confirmed.

The first up then: CEOP: More Toys Out Of The Pram Our bogey man, this time under the guise of cartoon porn, starts proper at the, A comment from the web mark. But please, don't miss out on the comments, they say as much, if not more than the article itself.

That's The Trouble With Hysteria follows next, and it is this post that is the meat and potatoes of it all. Referencing the toys out of the pram article at the outset, it delves a little deeper into the use of the bogey man as tool, but does moves on to cover one or two other points.

Now I know Why is pure Jim Gamble, well it is if you ignore, Ed Smart, Isabel Duarte and Keith Vaz. But for the main, it is Gamble, his methods and his empire building.

So to the article in question, two actually, there was something else that caught my eye on the same site.

Here again we see the same bogey man employed, he does get around doesn't he? But what this fellow is proposing, in the name of the bogey man of course, is nothing more than data gathering on a grand scale, and not least shall we say, a tad intrusive?

Details of all internet traffic should be logged, MEP says

A member of the European Parliament wants users' "traffic data", rather than the specific content of online communications, to be logged under expanded EU laws on data storage. This is according to a statement from the European People's Party (EPP) at the European Parliament.

Tiziano Motti, an Italian MEP, wants to extend the EU's Data Retention Directive "to content providers (social networks etc) in order to identify more easily those who commit crimes, including paedophilia through sexual harassment on the net," the EPP said.

"This is a request which does not refer specifically the online content, which falls under the Regulation of Wiretapping, but to the traffic data developed by the person uploading material of any kind on the net: comments, pictures, videos," it said.

The Data Retention Directive was established in 2006 to make it a requirement for telecoms companies to retain personal data for a period – determined by national governments – of between six months and two years. The Commission decided to regulate following terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.

Under the Directive, telecoms firms are required to retain identifying details of phone calls and emails, such as the traffic and location, to help the police detect and investigate serious crimes. The details exclude the content of those communications.

Motti's proposals, developed with the help of Italian computer expert Fabio Ghioni (author of Hacker Republic), would involve the data being stored in an internet "black box" enabling the "truth of what happened on the web" to be recorded, according to an automated translation of a report on Ghioni's website (in Italian).

Ghioni's "Logbox" system would involve encrypting the traffic data and giving the "key" to access it to the user, an "authority" and a lawyer, according to an automated translation of a report (in Italian) by Italian Christian magazine, Famiglia Cristiana.

Ghioni said his "precise mechanism" would need the "collaboration" of operating system manufacturers such as Microsoft and Apple to log all activities on their systems, according to the automated translation of the report. That data would be "digitally signed in order to be traced to a specific computer and its user", allowing paedophiles to be identified "regardless of any trick [they may use] to anonymise any illegal activity", and would be inexpensive to operate, Ghioni said, according to the automated translation of the report.

Motti believes that establishing a system for storing "traffic data" would make it possible to enforce suggestions he previously made regarding data retention laws last year, according to the EPP.

In June 2010, the European Parliament backed proposals outlined in a "written declaration" by Motti and fellow MEP Anna Záborská to set up a system to act as an "early warning" system to identify paedophiles and other sex offenders. A written declaration has no legislative effect on its own, but is formally communicated by the Parliament to the European Commission in a bid to influence its policy if adopted.

The adopted declaration also called for the scope of the Directive to cover "data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks" and be extended "to search engines in order to tackle online child pornography and sex offending rapidly and effectively".

In April this year, the European Commission said it would update the Data Retention Directive after conceding that it does not always adequately protect privacy or personal data.

The Commission was responding to a critical report that it had commissioned to provide feedback on the impact the Directive was having on businesses and consumers, and how it was being implemented in EU countries.

At the time the Commission said that it would consider strengthening regulations of the storage, access to and use of retained data to improve the protection of personal data.

In May, UK Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said that the Commission's plans to revise the Directive should be viewed "with caution" after he listed examples of how stored communications data had been used to thwart terrorism and serious crime during a speech at the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels.

This is the other article that caught my eye, but don't be mislead by the header, it goes deeper than that.

YouTube asked to remove 135 videos over 'national security issues', Google says

The UK Government asked Google to remove 135 YouTube videos for national security reasons in the first half of this year, the internet search giant has said.

In total UK content removal requests increased by 71% compared to the previous six-month period, Google said in its twice-yearly transparency report.

The Government raised no national security concerns between July and December 2010.

Google fully or partially complied with 82% of the Government's requests, the report said.

In total the UK Government requested the removal of 333 items including web search results, images and videos according to the figures.

It also asked for 61 videos to be removed for 'privacy and security' reasons, three for violence and one for hate speech. 20 videos were removed for 'other' reasons, according to the figures.

Google started publishing its Transparency Report last year. It outlines traffic patterns and disruptions to Google services, as well as providing details of content removal requests and requests for user data received from governments around the world.

Removal requests ask for the removal of content from Google search results or another one of the company's products, including YouTube, it said. Data requests ask for information about Google user accounts or products.

The company said it received 1,273 user data requests relating to 1,443 individual users. It fully or partially complied with 64% of those requests, it said.

A Home Office spokesperson told that where unlawful online content was hosted in the UK, the police have the power to seek its removal. Where the content is hosted overseas, the Government works with its international partners to have the content removed.

"The government takes the threat of online extremist or hate content very seriously," the spokesperson said.

National governments asked Google to remove content for many different reasons including defamation allegations and breaches of local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography, it said.

Google said that it did not comply with government requests which were not specific enough for the company to know what should be removed, or allegations of defamation through informal letters from government agencies.

"We generally rely on courts to decide is a statement is defamatory according to local law," it said.

Brazil made the most content removal requests, the report said. China only made three removal requests, each covering a large amount of data. Google was unable to disclose the details of one of those requests as it "had reason to believe" the Chinese government had prohibited disclosure, it said.

The search engine received a request from police in the US to remove videos it was alleged depicted acts of police brutality, it revealed.

"We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove," it said.

"Separately, we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency for removal of videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. We did not comply with those requests, which we have categorised in this Report as defamation requests."

Content removal requests from authorities in the US increased by 70% compared to the previous six-month period, it said. In addition, the US authorities made more than 11,000 requests for user data - a higher figure than any other country, the report said.