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UK Citizens Could Soon Face Up to 15 years in Prison for Viewing Terrorist Content Online

In Archive, Terrorism, UK on October 3, 2017 at 11:14 PM

10/03/2017

People who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years behind bars in a move designed to tighten the laws tackling radicalisation the home secretary, Amber Rudd, announced on Tuesday.

A new maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism.

The tightening of the law around viewing terrorist material is part of a review of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy following the increasing frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.

Transcript

“I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law,” said Rudd. “There is currently a gap in the law around material [that] is viewed or streamed from the internet without being permanently downloaded.

“This is an increasingly common means by which material is accessed online for criminal purposes and is a particularly prevalent means of viewing extremist material such as videos and web pages,” added the home secretary.

The proposed changes will strengthen the existing offence of possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 so that it applies to material that is viewed repeatedly or streamed online. Currently the power applies only to online material that has been downloaded and stored on the offender’s computer, is saved on a separate device or printed off as a hard copy.

How exactly investigators would be able to determine that a particular individual has repeat-viewed proscribed content is an open question. (But at the end of last year the UK passed a law requiring ISPs keep web activity logs of all users for 12 months.)

Senior officials say that, thanks to technological advances, it has become possible to identify users even if they do not download footage, but that the law has not caught up.

According to the Home Office the updated offence will ensure that only those found to repeatedly view online terrorist material will be guilty of the offence, to safeguard those who click on a link by mistake or who could argue that they did so out of curiosity rather than with criminal intent. A defence of “reasonable excuse” would still be available to academics, journalists or others who may have a legitimate reason to view such material.

But what about smaller independent outlets, like LeakSource, who believe information should not be censored and that the public has a right to know, both for educational and safety purposes. Will resources such as this be safe? Or will they be unjustly charged, bankrupted with defence fees and jailed for years?

And who decides what is terrorist content? Is it only jihadist related material? Is far-left/right content included? Anti-government opinions and activism? If not now, be assured all this and more could be added in the future. A slippery slope indeed. UK does Orwell best.

h/t Guardian/TechCrunch/TheTimes

UK Planning Broad Online Domestic Spying Regime

In Big Brother, Britain, News, NWO, OpBigBrother, Other Leaks, Police State, Science & Technology, UK on February 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

uk

02/06/2013

UK officials plan to monitor Britons’ online activities by placing surveillance devices on the country’s telecom networks, a Parliamentary report says. The program would keep tabs on which websites were visited as well as who contacted whom.

­On Tuesday the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published the report outlining a massive, national surveillance program based in the country’s very electronic infrastructure. The report does not specify the number of so-called “probes” to be installed across Britain’s telecommunications networks, but says it would be part of a regime stockpiling information on nearly every move Britons make online.

The new program will go beyond just keeping tabs on the Brits. If anyone abroad communicates online with someone in the UK then it will allow surveillance of their personal information as well, stretching the program’s geographical reach.

The government says the installation of the probes will be critical in the online fight against terrorism and other crime, and that the content of emails or Skype calls would not necessarily be collected. Instead, they say, the program would keep track of so-called “outside the envelope” information – such as a message’s origin and recipient. An email’s contents would be accessible with a court order, though time and date of sending and receipt would be available with the authorization of a senior law enforcement or intelligence officer.

Which online services the probes would monitor were not identified in the report. However, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, and Google Chat are all widely used in the UK and are mentioned in other sections of the report.

The report said the surveillance regime would function on deep packet inspection, a monitoring method that lets an individual who intercepts data to search its contents. Though the project is still in draft form, the committee generally rejected critics’ claims that it would constitute an oppressive domestic spying program, saying that without such new security measures, rapidly developing technologies would soon “have a serious impact on the intelligence and security agencies.”

“Under current European data retention laws, deep packet inspection is not only legal, but also widely used by the private sector,” the report notes. “Whilst legislation is not a perfect solution,” it states elsewhere, “we believe it is the best available option.”

Via/RT

UK’s Tax Code Biggest in the World, Would Take World’s Fastest Reader More Than a Week to Read

In Economy, News, Politics, UK on February 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

02/01/2013

UK Spends £160 Billion on Weapons

In News, Other Leaks, UK on February 1, 2013 at 10:46 PM

 

02/01/2013

For the next ten years, Britain will be cashing in on military equipment worth £160 Billion. The UK government hopes to increase its war capabilities in what is being seen as an effort to prepare for further military action. Missiles, fighter jets, helicopters and drones are one of many items on their list, including the controversial trident submarine facility, which is to receive a new fleet of nuclear missiles.

Britain is facing a financial crisis and potentially a triple-dip recession. Just when the government needed to save money and cut the deficit, they instead have splashed billions of pounds on military equipment. Experts say this money on military equipment is not needed; instead it should be spent in the public sector to help society.

Chris Coverdale, an anti-war activist and lawyer says that military spending is only lawful for purposes of defence, but he sees that Britain is currently involved in aggressive wars.

Already involved in Afghanistan, Britain stepped up its military efforts by sending warplanes to assist the French in their offence on Mali. It’s the UK’s latest move of what could become a bigger military plan in North Africa.

The government’s spending plans have been constantly criticised by many analysts who believe the latest military spending is not helping the country out of recession. I asked members of the public if they thought the government made the right move. There were mixed responses.

The UK National Audit Office, which reviews public spending, warns that the costs for such equipment could be £12.5 billion higher than initially planned. Although the Defence Budget could be cut in the next few years – expenditure on military equipment will continue.

Via PressTV

UN to Investigate US & UK Drone Strikes

In News, UK, USA on January 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM

01/24/2013

A United Nations investigation into targeted killings will examine drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, according to the British lawyer heading the inquiry.

Ben Emmerson QC, a UN special rapporteur, will reveal the full scope of his review which will include checks on military use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in UK operations in Afghanistan, US strikes in Pakistan, as well as in the Sahel region of Africa where the conflict in Mali has erupted. It will also take evidence on Israeli drone attacks in Palestinian territories.

About 20 or 30 strikes – selected as representative of different types of attacks – will be studied to assess the extent of any civilian casualties, the identity of militants targeted and the legality of strikes in countries where the UN has not formally recognised there is a conflict.

The inquiry will report to the UN general assembly in New York this autumn. Depending on its findings, it may recommend further action. Emmerson has previously suggested some drone attacks – particularly those known as “double tap” strikes where rescuers going to the aid of a first blast have become victims of a follow-up strike – could possibly constitute a “war crime”.

The inquiry will be co-ordinated through Emmerson’s UN office in Geneva. Among the team of experts working with him will be the former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald QC, a former prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, and Dr Nat Cary, one of the UK’s most experienced pathologists who specialises in the interpretation of injuries caused by explosions.

The inquiry is the result of a request by several nations, including Pakistan and two permanent members of the UN security council.

Staff in Geneva have already begun to examine details of individual drone strikes. Emmerson says that, when assembled, his dossier of evidence may not lead to direct “attribution of legal liability” but will enable him to put allegations to the states responsible and obtain a response.

The Ministry of Defence, he said, had assured him of its willingness to co-operate. The influential US Council on Foreign Relations recently recommended that the US president should: “provide information to the public, Congress, and UN special rapporteurs – without disclosing classified information – on what procedures exist to prevent harm to civilians”.

Despite many US officials justifying drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia as acceptable as part of the global war on terrorism, others in the Washington administration have more recently acknowledged a need to demonstrate legal justification for targeted killings to the international community.

Emmerson told the Guardian: “One of the fundamental questions is whether aerial targeting using drones is an appropriate method of conflict … where the individuals are embedded in a local community.

“One of the questions we will be looking at is whether, given the local demography, aerial attacks carry too high a risk of a disproportionate number of civilian casualties.” “The explosion of drone technology [raises the question whether] the military dependence on UAVs carries an unacceptably high risk of civilian casualties.”

Between June 2004 and September 2012, according to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians, including 176 children.

Via TheGuardian

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