#HackingLabour: The new wheeze by the campaign against Corbyn is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE

It seems members of Saving Labour are being asked to trawl through the party's data to contact lapse members - illegally.

It seems members of Saving Labour are being asked to trawl through the party’s data to contact lapse members – illegally.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It seems the campaign to rid the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – replacing him with either Owen Smith or Angela Eagle – may have crossed the line into crime.

The illegality appears to involve online Corbyn-removal campaign Saving Labour, along with the Blairite think tank Progress, and Labour First, which is currently trying to get six right-wing candidates onto Labour’s National Executive Committee to block Mr Corbyn’s policies there.

It occurs to This Writer that anybody who may gain an electoral advantage from the criminal activity detailed below should be barred from the elections currently taking place within the Labour Party.

Read this, from Tim Turner’s information law blog:

Saving Labour is a new organisation dedicated to replacing Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. It may quickly need to be saved from itself. An extract from a document that appears to be from Saving Labour is being circulated on Twitter by Corbyn supporters, annoyed about what it contains. The documents contains advice on how to obtain personal data of lapsed members who are likely to be anti-Corbyn because they left the party when around the time he became leader. The document then advocates contacting them for support.

If Saving Labour (or rogue individuals) are attempting to recruit Labour members back into Labour, then the processing of data is likely to be a breach of Data Protection’s fairness requirements. If Saving Labour are trying to recruit members to Saving Labour’s mailing list or retaining data for its purposes, it’s potentially a lot worse. The most important thing here is that Saving Labour is not a faction of Labour; it is a separate Data Controller with its own Data Protection notification. If Saving Labour are obtaining data or getting others to obtain it on their behalf and for their purposes without Labour’s knowledge, it’s at least a civil breach of Data Protection.

Even if a senior Labour Party official gave explicit approval for someone to harvest personal data and use it, the likelihood of a Data Protection breach is still high. Unless the Labour Party told members that that their data would be shared with another organisation or processed after their membership had lapsed for marketing purposes, then the disclosure / processing would be a breach of the First Data Protection principle, which requires all processing of personal data to be fair. The chief element of fairness is that the person is told about how their data will be processed.

It doesn’t end there. The document encourages MPs and councillors to “call” lapsed members to encourage them to join. As I blogged only yesterday, every part of the Data Protection system has made clear that calls made for the purposes of political campaigning are marketing – so if the callers do not screen any telephone numbers against the Telephone Preference Service, it would be a breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. If they send emails or texts without explicit consent from the person, it would be a breach of PECR. It’s extremely hard to imagine that any consent given to the Labour Party could survive a lapsed membership, and Saving Labour would not have that consent in the first place.

Source: Labour pains – 2040 information law blog

If this is what Saving Labour is doing, then somebody should call the police. And it seems Saving Labour is doing this – with help. Here’s HarryH:

“I got emails from both and telling me to get member details illegitimately and canvas against JC

So, according to this tweet, it was not just Saving Labour, but Progress (responsible for the T-shirt smear against Jeremy Corbyn last month) and Labour First as well.

The T-shirt smear against Jeremy Corbyn: On the left, Lewis Parker, "creative strategist and media guru"; on the right, Anna Phillips of Blairite pressure group Progress - at the rally in support of Jeremy Corbyn on Monday, June 27. The media were in uproar about that T-shirt - at the wrong man.

The T-shirt smear against Jeremy Corbyn: On the left, Lewis Parker, “creative strategist and media guru”; on the right, Anna Phillips of Blairite pressure group Progress – at the rally in support of Jeremy Corbyn on Monday, June 27. The media were in uproar about that T-shirt – at the wrong man.

Confirmation that Progress is behind this illegal stunt came very quickly, and you can read it for yourself here.

So it really is happening – and is entirely illegal.

One wonders what the people most likely to benefit from this crime – Angela Eagle and Owen Smith – have to say about it.

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle would receive a boost in votes if anti-Corbyn voters returned to Labour via an illegal data harvesting method proposed by Progress and apparently supported by Labour First and Saving Labour[Composite: Rex, PA].

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle would receive a boost in votes if anti-Corbyn voters returned to Labour via an illegal data harvesting method proposed by Progress and apparently supported by Labour First and Saving Labour[Composite: Rex, PA].

This Writer understands that Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, has been informed. That’s lovely but he hasn’t been fantastically effective in curbing the excesses of the anti-Corbyn brigade so far.

The greatest irony is that, in encouraging this illegal activity, the Blairites are breaking the Data Protection Act 1998, a law passed by a Labour government – under their idol Tony Blair.

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22 thoughts on “#HackingLabour: The new wheeze by the campaign against Corbyn is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If you want to report it, take it to your local police (as you have been affected by it) and they should be able to direct it to the right place.

  1. Catherine Cooper

    What can they gain from trying to get back lapsed Labour voters? These voters will not be able to vote in the Leadership election! Have we no lawyers who can set the ball rolling to start criminal proceedings against these organisations?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They want these people to pay the £25 to vote – or had you forgotten that, thanks to the NEC, it is perfectly possible to buy a vote in the leadership election?

      1. Catherine Cooper

        Yes Mike, I forgot about the £25 and 48 hour voting window! Can’t get my head around this blatant fixing.

  2. Steven E James

    One of the reasons for not allowing members who joined after January was the fact the it would be difficult to process them. So how will these new recruits get to vote?
    Cold call – give us £25 so we can get rid of Corbyn…

  3. David Woods

    This campaign against Corbyn should now be over!
    With the ‘parties’ arrested and under caution, for surely if these details are forwarded to the police, they are duty bound to investigate!

  4. dogpower

    Well this is low, wonder if they are going to dig people up for there vote or even vote for them

  5. yarmouthboy

    Have they no shame? Resorting to criminal activity (possibly) is far beyond normal electioneering practices. Will it be pursued like the election fraud (allegedly) by some Tory MP’s? Hmmmm. A testv as to whether Data Protection is real or only a pretence.

    1. Brian

      It’s difficult to get upset about this. Yes it’s wrong, yes it’s criminal, but hey, lets look at the bright side. This is another in the catalogue of acts of desperation, normally reserved for the Tory party. If May didn’t have enough to worry about, she also now has a potential vote splitting scenario. These peoples careers on the line and you can see the fear in their eyes, as well you might, I feel JC has yet to play his trump card. When this is over, and the recumberent’s are shown the door, the likes of Frank Parley can sleep safe in their beds knowing the fight for democracy is a worthwhile endeavour.

  6. WWJCD

    SAVING LABOUR IS REGISTERED TO EX LABOUR MP REG RACE AT HIS OLD BUSINESS ADDRESS FOR QUALITY HEALTH LTD. He holds the data licence. You can complain to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) if you think he has breached the Data Protection Act

  7. Roberts

    It is the Labour Party that owns this data so if there is a breach it is the Labour Party that is held responsible. The party has a responsibility not to allow others (Saving Labour?) access to it. Could be a shot in the foot to make a complaint.

Comments are closed.