Mo Ansar once admitted he was a liar in formal legal proceedings

“Social commentator” Mo Ansar is in the news again. In particular, there is an article in the current issue of Private Eye about a complaint he was seeking to make to Twitter about journalists who have displeased him. (For background to Ansar, see this dossier by Jeremy Duns, which details Ansar’s threats made against journalists and bloggers, including me.  You … Read more

Five things about David Cameron and sovereignty

Here are five things to remember when you hear the Prime Minister praise the “sovereignty of parliament”. First, ministers and officials are encouraged to use statutory instruments as much as possible, which do not get proper parliamentary scrutiny. Second, the government has sought to cut the “Short money” which funds the scrutiny work of opposition parties in parliament. Third, the government … Read more

Where is the Tort? Something seems to be missing in the Investigatory Powers Bill

Here is an interesting omission from the Investigatory Powers Bill published yesterday.The current legislation – the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 – provides, at section 1(3), a tort for unlawful interference (emphasis added): Any interception of a communication which is carried out at any place in the United Kingdom by, or with the express or implied … Read more

“Privacy is Surveillance” – Part 1 of the Investigatory Powers Bill

Yesterday the government put the Investigatory Powers Bill before parliament. (Note it is not a “draft” Bill – that was the last one. This is now the Bill (which is, in turn, a draft Act).) The parliament webpage for the Bill is here and it is worth bookmarking, as website will track the passage of the Bill and will provide links … Read more

The push-me-pull-yous of public policy: surveillance and freedom of information

* “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear.” Adage, attributable to someone or other. * Surveillance and freedom of information are the push-me-pull-yous of public policy. Those politicians and officials in favour of ever-more surveillance will assure you that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear. But many … Read more