Monday, November 16, 2015

In sympathy with Paris we should pass the snoopers charter... apparently?

Dan Hodges thinks that is we have sympathy with the victims of the Paris bombings we should demand the snoopers charter be passed, and passed now.

He says so here, I kid you not.

The problem is that the argument does not stand up to a great deal of scrutiny.

The 7/7 bombings, the Charlie Hebdo attacks and these latest attacks all featured some people who were known one way or another to the security services. In the UK that's currently around 3,000.

Now MI5 and MI6 don't have the resource to follow all of them so they prioritise. We don't get to see the carnage that this prioritising prevents, only that which slips though. It was ever thus. If MI5 and MI6 were perfect then we wouldn't know of them or care. In fact some would probably cut their budget.

But here we are. If they (MI5 and MI6 along with GCHQ) had all the resource they needed to put surveillance on all these 3,000 they 7/7 would not have happened. So lets make that job easier by giving them 60 million innocent people to watch?

Does that really make sense to anyone? Really? Seriously?

If they (MI5 etc) want to look over every aspect of the 3,000's lives, let them get a warrant. A secret one, perhaps one that once granted can't be questioned (though must expire).

Let that warrant if it needs to extend automatically to watching contacts of the 3,000 and if evidence emerges that would lead to another warrant, then get one that does the same.

Above all, perhaps more resource.

But whatever you do, don't burden them (MI5 etc) with the job of looking through all my browsing history. It will not make anyone safe.

Corbyn would not order a shoot to kill policy!

Apparently Jeremy Corbyn would not order the security forces to shoot to kill.

See Guido here for example:

Thing is it isn't within the Prime Ministers gift to order to shoot to kill or not*.

Who shoots what and how is an operational decision that is the final responsibility of the person with the gun**. If they are faced with a hostile armed assailant (or have a reasonable belief they are armed) they can use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances. This obviously includes up to lethal force.

We do not live in a country where the Prime Minister can arbitrarily order death, or restrict self defence on a whim.

*Obviously a PM can order forms of military action highly likely to result in the use of lethal force.

**What people may not appreciate is that you don't need to be a police officer. If you are at home, cleaning your shotgun and someone breaks in, you can shoot. If they are leaving you can't. If you are walking down the street with your hunting rifle in a bag on your shoulder (does happen, not often in cities) and someone starts firing, you can fire at them to save life in self defence.