Tuesday, December 11

RIPA, Encryption Keys and The UK Government Click for more info

The Register reports on how the RIPA was used to extract encryption keys from an animal rights activist (or "inevitable terrorist" if you're in a position of authority).

More interesting than the article itself are some of the comments made after it: there are those who think it's okay to trample on the rights of others as long as they're disliked, as well as those who correct them in saying that human rights should be universal and not selective. Other highlights that caught my eye follow, but the whole depressing thing for me is how desensitised and anaesthetised the general UK population are (myself included).

However cliched it may sound, we're sleepwalking into something very scary here (although perhaps only for those of us who aren't financial donors to the government).

First, they came for the labor unions but I wasn't a labor unionist, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for the Communists but I wasn't a Communist, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for the Jews but I wasn't a Jew, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for the Catholics but I wasn't a Catholic, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up. - Pastor Martin Niemoller

The real meat of my post. That act. It too, is immoral. Really immoral. Hate to Godwin again here, but it's verging on the jews-aren't-really-people argument immoral. I think it's so immoral I sent a strongly worded letter to my MP, the venerable David Cairns MP (who as I have previously stated is honestly not a slick-as-oil shitebag who would lie about the colour of the sky) with regards the RIPA and stating my belief that the then-PM Tony Blair was as much a threat to the freedom of the british people as Adolf & Co were in the 1940's.

Needless to say, Mr Cairns MP (Lab) replied saying that such a comparison was wholly unfair and that the RIPA was a valuable tool for the Police in their War on Terror™, and it along with the ID Cards would be fine and dandy, nothing to worry about.

I didn't believe him then. I still don't believe him now. This sort of act is exactly like the martial-law declarations and 'enabling acts' made in countless previously-democratic countries when their governments forget that they serve the people not vice-versa. It is sad to see yet another government making this mistake. Although this is but the beginning of the more draconian legislation, for it is the nature of such acts to breed ones more repressive, nonetheless, when in years to come people ask "Where Did It All Go Wrong", this my dear friends, this was when it All Went Wrong. Democracy in this country did not die in a battle, nor in a riot or a revolution. It died with a group of balding middle-aged men drinking brandy in the Commons bar, laughing amongst themselves. It died when the apathetic masses forgot to care about what laws get passed without their consent or approval. It died when the wishes of extremists and power-mad politicians were given more thought than the rights of the people.

In years to come, when the same apathetic masses remember to care, and decide to remind the government why they serve and the masses sufferance, when there are tanks driving down the Mall firing at unarmed civilians, when the skyline of cities from Aberdeen to London are lit-up by the fires of freedom and revolution; maybe then you will look back and wish that this law had not passed, that the police did not have the right to see this hippies personal porn stash. - Math Campbell