Mass Action or Court Action

I have today posted a limited review of Orgcon17 which happened last year. One of the most provocative presentations was this one, “Is the law the best way to stop mass surveillance?” While it documents the heroic struggle by a small group of fiercely motivated lawyers, it’s incredibly slow at the time, the court cases considered in 2017 related to 2015 laws and by the time the rulings came through the law in question had been replaced, but while pursuing legal action, mass action is hard, although crowdjustice.com and other petition sites allow the building of an on-line communities.

The presentation made me think about the numerous, trade union legal actions on collective bargaining issues, most notably their pursuit and criminalisation of Uber. In these cases, the use of the law is a sign of weakness, albeit of both sides, but demos and voting aren’t enough to change politicians minds on issues they consider peripheral. …

Citizens not Suspects

Citizens not Suspects

The Guardian reports that Privacy International are going to court to get the UK Government banned from using the USA’s ‘intelligence’ obtained via their Prism programme, and to suspend the UK’s equivalent programme, the GCHQ’s Tempora programme.

Privacy International argue that the UK agencies’ use of NSA supplied data is illegal since there is no warrant and no notification and no appeal; which is a problem when there is no ‘probable cause’. In order for GCHQ to intercept someone, they’d need a warrant issued under RIPA. This looks to be  an example of the two agencies outsourcing the surveillance of their own citizenry, since they are prohibited from doing so. i.e. GCHQ is spying on Yanks, and the NSA returns the favour by spying on Brits. Both agencies need a warrant to spy on their own citizens, but not on foreigners. …

Save Lewisham A&E – Hunt’s broken the Law

Save Lewisham A&E – Hunt’s broken the Law

Hunt’s closure of Lewisham A&E ruled illegal by the High Court, and here’s how various supporters of the campaign reacted.

Mark, the artist taxi driver seems to like swearing, a lot! What he seems to like swearing about and at is the Tories! This isn’t a problem for me, in fact I find him funny, but some may find his language offensive. Of course, what he’s talking about is pretty offensive. …

What should Lewisham Labour do next?

What should Lewisham Labour do next?

Some thoughts from New Cross Labour,

Lewisham’s Labour Group have launched an internet consultation, at Lewisham Together , a wordpress site, http://lewishamtogether.wordpress.com/, anyone can contribute ideas to Labour’s Manifesto for Lewisham’s Mayor and Labour Group.  The Labour Party has been choosing candidates over the last six months and campaigning on the doorstep since they won back control of the council in 2010. As part of the consultation, Mayor Steve Bullock came to New Cross Labour Party to talk about the next administration. Members of neighbouring Brockley Ward were also invited, which is how I got there. …

Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act

BT & Talk Talk, the two largest UK internet Service Providers (ISP) went to court towards the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 to obtain a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act, a law passed in the dying days of the last Labour Government. This law is designed to place duties on internet service providers to act on the instruction and on behalf of copyright holders and to authorise Web site blocking. On the 20th April, Mr. Justice Parker delivered his judgement.

This article is a personal summary of that ruling. The judgement is awfully hard to read and understand. I have an economics degree and nine years of Civil Service training! Actual quotes should be obvious, other representations are in my words, not those of the judgement. In some places I have got lost in the text of the judgement and while my summary is much shorter than the original, it remains pretty long. The impatient or easily satisfied can skip straight to the summary. …