Tag Archives: Anonymous

Hodge wants ban on social media anonymity – what a great idea! It will curtail fake anti-Semitism claims

It’s the first time This Writer has agreed with Margaret Hodge in years.

She has said the government must ban online anonymity or make social media directors personally liable for defamatory posts, revealing that she receives tens of thousands of abusive tweets a month:

Hodge accused the government of deliberately delaying the online harms bill in order to avoid difficult conversations with powerful social media companies, and said she was prepared to take up a campaign to make sure the law was tough enough.

The Online Harms Bill arises from a White Paper produced last year – and This Site commented on it at the time.

The White Paper – and now the Bill (I expect; I haven’t actually seen any information on it since April last year) proposed a statutory duty of care, to be conferred on media companies including platforms such as Facebook and Google, online messaging services like WhatsApp and file hosting sites.

They would be required to comply with a code of practice, setting out the steps they must take to meet the duty of care. This may include designing products and platforms to make them safer, directing users who have suffered harm towards support, combating disinformation (for example by using fact-checking services), and improving the transparency of political advertising.

They would be expected to co-operate with police and other enforcement agencies on illegalities including incitement of violence and selling illegal weapons.

And they would have to compile annual “transparency reports” detailing the amount of harmful content found on their platforms and what they are doing to combat it.

The government would have powers to direct the regulator – initially Ofcom, with a dedicated regulator to follow in the future – on specific issues such as terrorist activity or child sexual exploitation.

I pointed out last year that the White Paper did not include any measures to stop people creating anonymous accounts.

If Ms Hodge wants to see that happen now, then I am all for it.

It will stop me receiving much (but not all) of the abuse I get from people wrongly accusing me of anti-Semitism after the Labour Party expelled me under false pretences (as shown in court).

But that’s not what was on offer in April last year. As I made perfectly clear, “regulating online media platforms will not stop people posting “harmful” content to them, if there is nothing to stop them from doing so. It is farcically easy to create anonymous accounts, from which to post objectionable and/or abusive content.

“Shut one down? That’s fine – the individual responsible can have another up and running in a matter of minutes, if they don’t have multiple aliases working already.”

And I made that point that “it has been argued that people must have a right to be able to post anonymously, because of personal circumstances that make it important – possibly for their personal safety.”

My response: “Fine. A system can be devised in which people apply for anonymity and the number of people or organisations able to ascertain their real identity is strictly limited. That would allow these individuals to continue functioning in the online world. And it would prevent others from abusing social media platforms. Any posts from an unrecognised anonymous account would be easy to flag up and isolate.”

If Ms Hodge is proposing such a system then I am behind her every step of the way, and never mind all the other differences we have.

Although – as a staunch witch-hunter herself – I wonder whether she would approve of that outcome.

Source: Margaret Hodge calls for ban on social media anonymity | Online abuse | The Guardian

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Ministry of Justice loses secret information that was sent through the post

The death of Mark Duggan (inset) led to the riots of 2011 [Image: Daily Telegraph].

The death of Mark Duggan (inset) led to the riots of 2011 [Image: Daily Telegraph].

The Ministry of Justice has admitted that data from three semi-secret inquiries has gone missing on discs that were – get this – lost in the post.

According to the BBC, the missing material – which the Ministry of Justice says went missing after being sent in the post – relates to three investigations that examined the roles of police in the death of members of the public.

Two inquiries relate to fatal police shootings of crime suspects in London – Mark Duggan and Azelle Rodney. The third relates to the 1997 murder of Robert Hamill in Northern Ireland, which campaigners allege involved the collusion of police officers.

In each inquiry there were witnesses, including police officers, who were given anonymity because of possible threats to their safety – but officials have refused to confirm whether any of the missing documents include personal information relating to these witnesses.

This is yet another bungle by a failing Ministry of Justice under a failing Justice Minister – in fact, his nickname is an admission of this: Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling.

The Azelle Rodney case involved a mid-level career criminal who was shot dead by armed officers of the Metropolitan Police on April 30, 2005. In July 2013 a judicial inquiry found that the Authorised Firearms Officer who fired the fatal shots had “no lawful justification” for opening fire. The case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether a prosecution should be launched. On July 30, 2014, the CPS announced that they had made the decision to charge the officer with murder.

We should all remember the case of Mark Duggan. He was the young man whose death sparked the riots in London – and subsequently across the UK – in the summer of 2011. The official story of Duggan’s death has undergone numerous changes, drawing criticism and suspicion from Duggan’s family, residents of Tottenham, and other supporters. These critics accuse police of misconduct and of failing to cooperate with investigating Duggan’s death. Shortcomings in the police response have also been blamed for stoking the riots, and for fueling ongoing discontent, with Duggan’s supporters stating “there can be no peace without justice”.

(Information on both these cases is from Wikipedia).

If this writer was entrusted with the delivery of documents that may include material identifying key witnesses who had been given public anonymity, the last thing I’d consider is sending it via the recently-privatised Royal Mail!

There is huge potential for – let’s call it – mischief in this matter – and we cannot discount the possibility that the Tory-run Ministry of Justice is behind some of it.

We may await the ‘outing’ of some of these anonymous witnesses with a sense of inevitability.

Wannabe activists take over ‘A letter a day’ FB group

Keith Lindsay-Cameron: This photo was taken on the day he reported Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud to the police for breaching the Human Rights Act with their Claimant Commitment for jobseekers.

Keith Lindsay-Cameron: This photo was taken on the day he reported Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud to the police for breaching the Human Rights Act with their Claimant Commitment for jobseekers.

How pathetic is this? A group of wannabe political activists called ‘Anonymous is in the United Kingdom’ (not affiliated to Anonymous but actively opposed to it, so you can guess their point of view) has taken over Keith Lindsay-Cameron’s ‘A Letter A Day To Number 10’ Facebook group and started posting its own puerile material there.

These people are clearly idiots.

There is no point in stealing somebody else’s FB page out from under them – especially one like ALADTN10. The only reason people went there was that it was Keith’s page; they won’t return if he isn’t there any more and they’ll tell everybody they know to avoid it if offensive material is published there (such as, for example, the image of Keith behind bars, stating he can’t keep control of his own page).

It’s only Facebook, you know? What do you think Keith has done in response?

He’s started a new page, of course.

If you want to keep up with Keith’s activities, you may wish to check out his personal page – and you should definitely visit his new ALAD group page.

As for these ‘Anonymous is in the United Kingdom’ twerps: Keith wasn’t doing you any harm and it isn’t big or clever to disrupt his business just because you can. If you thought you would achieve anything other than showing the rest of the world that there is no point to you whatsoever then you were wrong. If you were trying to confuse Keith’s works with the reeking outpourings of your own atrophied brains, then you have reached a level of delusion indicating that you should seek psychiatric assessment before your over-inflated self-importance induces you to commit actual harm next time – most likely to yourself. The only reason anyone would thank you for what you have done is it shows that there is no point in trying to engage you in rational discourse. Anybody who visits Keith’s old page will never visit it again and, the instant they leave, they’ll probably forget you ever existed. Your worthlessness is such that the flaming you have received in this paragraph isn’t even original.

Vox Political is glad to have sorted that out for you.

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Protesters clash with police on march against austerity

[Picture: Huffington Post]

[Picture: Huffington Post]

Violence marred the Million Mask March in London – with the clashes apparently started by British police.

But you should not expect to see the spectacle reported on the news as the BBC and other right-wing media seem to have put their heads in the (proverbial) sand and, once again, failed to report anything that might indicate the British people are not happy with their government.

Thousands of people took to the streets, many wearing what is now seen as the symbol of protest against austerity cuts imposed by the rich – the Guy Fawkes mask made famous by the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’.

[Picture: Million Mask March London Facebook page]

[Picture: Million Mask March London Facebook page]

Comedian Russell Brand, who has called for non-violent revolution, was spotted at the London protest.

Inevitably, someone had to spoil it and it seems the police were the aggressors.

According to the Huffington Post, an eyewitness said: “They [the police] started shouting move back, move back, but we had nowhere to go. The police started pushing us, screaming ‘move back, move back’. There was a fire on the right hand side of the monument [the Victoria Memorial near Buckingham Palace] and people started throwing things.”

The HuffPost reported: “The event is part of a Million Mask March, with similar protests being held in cities around the world. A Facebook page promoting the protest called for Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the Pirate Party, and Occupy to “defend humanity”.

“‘Remember who your enemies are: Billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice,’ it read.”

If any Vox Political readers were at the march – or at any of the many others around the world – please tell us about it. Let us know what the mainstream news reporters aren’t telling us.

Revealed: ConDem ‘vendetta’ against citizens it believes are livestock

"Fascist Britain, 2013. Everybody knows you can't beat the system. Everybody but...?"

“Fascist Britain, 2013. Everybody knows you can’t beat the system. Everybody but…?”

It has been rumoured that V for Vendetta ‘Guy Fawkes’ masks are to be banned from large-scale public demonstrations in the UK.

They have already been banned in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The masks were adopted by the loosely-affiliated protesters Anonymous as a clear indication of members’ feelings towards a Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government whose actions, they believe, have been increasingly fascist.

These people have a point.

Has anyone read V for Vendetta lately? An early chapter, ‘Victims’, provides the historical background to the fascist Britain of the story – and provides very disturbing parallels with the current government and its policies.

In the story, there is a recession and a nuclear war. Fortunately, in real life we have managed to avoid the war (so far) but the recession of 2007 onwards has caused severe hardship for many, with average wages cut by nine per cent (in real terms) due to government policies.

In the story, the line “Everybody was waiting for the government to do something” is notable. Isn’t that just about as British as you can get? As a nation, we seem unwilling to take the initiative; we just wait for someone else to do something. We queue up. And then we complain when we don’t find exactly what we wanted at the end of the queue. But then it’s too late.

Does the government “do something”? Well, no – not in the story, because there isn’t any government worth mentioning at this point. But then… “It was all the fascist groups. The right-wingers. They’d all got together with some of the big corporations…”

Here’s another parallel. How many corporations are enjoying the fruits of the Conservative-led (right-wing) government’s privatisation drive?

Look at my IDS (I Believe) video on YouTube – which features only a tiny minority of those firms.

The NHS carve-up signified huge opportunities for firms like Circle Health and Virgin, and Bain Capital (who bought our blood plasma supplies). Care UK, the firm that famously sponsored Andrew Lansley while he was working on the regressive changes to the health service that eventually became the Health and Social Care Act 2012, no doubt also has fingers in the pie.

The Treasury is receiving help – if you can call it that – from the ‘big four’ accountancy firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG. They have written the law on tax avoidance. By no coincidence at all, these are the firms that run the major tax avoidance schemes that have been taken up by businesses and rich individuals who are resident in the UK. For more information on the government’s attitude to taxing the rich, see Michael Meacher’s recent blog entry.

The Department for Work and Pensions has employed many private firms; this is the reason that department is haemorrhaging money. There are the work programme provider firms who, as has been revealed in previous blog entries, provide absolutely no useful training and are less likely to find anyone a job than if they carried on by themselves; there are the IT firms currently working on Universal Credit, about which Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith lied to Parliament when he said he was having to write off £34 million of expenditure – the true figure was later revealed to be closer to £161 million, almost five times as much; there are Atos and Capita, and probably other firms that have been hired to carry out so-called ‘work capability assessments’ of people claiming sickness, incapacity and disability benefits, according to a plan that intentionally ignores factual medical evidence and places emphasis on a bogus, tick-box test designed to find ways to cut off their support; and there is Unum Insurance, the criminal American corporation that designed that test, in order to push British workers into buying its bogus insurance policies that work on exactly the same principle – this is theft on a grand scale.

So we have a government in cahoots with big business, and treating the citizens – the voters – like cattle. We’ll see more of this as we go on.

“Then they started taking people away… All the black people and the Pakistanis…” All right, these social groups have not been, specifically, targeted (yet) – but we have seen evidence that our government would like to do so. Remember those advertising vans the Home Office funded, that drove around London with a message that we were told was for illegal immgrants: “Go home”?

“That is a term long-associated with knuckle-dragging racists,” said Owen Jones on the BBC’s Any Questions.

“We’re seeing spot-checks and racial profiling of people at tube stations. We have a woman on the news… she was born in Britain; she was told she was stopped because she ‘didn’t sound British’. And we have the official Home Office [Twitter] account being used to send gleeful tweets which show people being thrown into vans with a hashtag, ‘#immigrationoffenders’.

“Is this the sort of country you want to live in, where the Conservatives use taxpayers’ money to inflame people’s fears and prejudices in order to win political advantage? Because I don’t think most people do want that to happen.”

This blog’s article on the subject added that not only this, but other governments (like that in Greece) had created an opportunity to start rounding up anybody deemed “undesirable” by the state. “Greece is already rounding up people of unorthodox sexuality, drug addicts, prostitutes, immigrants and the poor and transferring them to internment and labour camps,” it stated.

Note also the government’s response to criticism from UN special rapporteur on adequate housing Raquel Rolnik. Grant Shapps and Iain Duncan Smith and their little friends tried to say that she had not done her job properly but, when this was exposed as a lie, they reverted to type and attacked her for her racial origin, national background, and beliefs – political and personal. You can read the lot in this despicable Daily Mail smear piece.

Back to V for Vendetta, where the narrative continues: “White people too. All the radicals and the men who, you know, liked other men. The homosexuals. I don’t know what they did with them all.” Well, we know what Greece is doing with them all, and in the story, such people also ended up in internment and labour camps. We’ll come back to that.

“They made me go and work in a factory with a lot of other kids. We were putting matches into boxes. I lived in a hostel. It was cold and dirty…”

Last month this blog commented on government plans for ‘residential Workfare for the disabled’, rounding up people with disabilities and putting them into modern-day workhouses where someone else would profit from their work while they receive benefits alone – and where the potential for abuse was huge. If that happens, how long will it be before every other jobseeker ends up in a similar institution?

A while ago, a friend in the cafe I visit said that a Tory government will always see every class of people other than its own as “livestock”. That’s the word he used – “livestock”. From the above, with descriptions of people being treated like cattle, or being herded into the workhouse for someone else to profit from their work, it seems he has a very strong case.

So let’s go back to these internment and labour camps – in V for Vendetta they’re called “resettlement” camps. A later chapter – The Vortex – reveals that inmates at such camps are subjected to unethical medical experimentation. The doctor carrying out the trials notes in her diary that the camp commandant “promised to show me my research stock… they’re a poor bunch.”

Her research stock are human beings who have been subjected to conditions similar to those of the Nazi concentration camps. Notice the language – this doctor considers the other human beings taking part to be her property. And they are “research stock” – in other words, she does not see them as other human beings but as livestock – exactly as the friend in the cafe stated.

And jobseekers in today’s UK are being coerced into experimental drug trials, disguised as job opportunities, according to the latest reports.

V for Vendetta‘s tagline – the blurb that set the scene – was: “Fascist Britain, 1997”. It seems the only part that its author, Alan Moore, actually got wrong was the date.