When the NHS catches a computer bug are security services to blame?

There is no doubt that the delays and disruption caused by the NHS computer virus could have been avoided. The government could have used a fraction of the multi-billion security budget to enable hospital trusts to update ageing software. However, instead of being focused on designing out crime as they promised to do, western security services are doing the opposite. The US government and our own, are pressuring companies like Microsoft and others to create ‘backdoors’ which open up our privacy and security to attack if they are leaked.
Image result for nsa surveillance uk
The people who created the virus are clearly to blame for the current attack on the NHS, but their work is based upon the exploitation of a flaw (they call it an ‘exploit’) in the Microsoft XP Operating system. As the head of Microsoft legal has pointed out “The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, or NSA, in the United States.” Those exploits were developed by the NSA as part of their ‘offensive’ capability in the fight against terrorism and rogue states. The NSA discovered the flaw in XP and then created a set of viruses that they could deploy against people they didn’t like. When those exploits leaked out earlier in the year, this virus attack became inevitable.
I am almost computer illiterate, but my work relies upon laptops and phones to be effective. The same goes for millions of businesses and organisations. I want them to be as secure as possible, which is why we shouldn’t vote for governments who want to deliberately create security flaws in that technology that they can exploit for the purposes of snooping on us. Our security services should make it a priority to design out crime, rather than finding ways of potentially designing it in.
The blog from President of Microsoft and head of legal is here

Are the police spying on the witnesses at the inquiry about the police spying on people?

It seems obvious to me that the police shouldn’t be spying on people who are key witnesses at the Pitchford inquiry into police spying. Those witnesses are gathering together a history of activism and campaigning to present their evidence, via a Barrister, to the inquiry judge. You would think it would be easy to get a reassurance from the government that these witnesses are not being spied upon by the police, as the police would clearly gain an advantage from knowing what those witnesses have prepared, but no, it is not.

domestic-extremism-database

Continue reading “Are the police spying on the witnesses at the inquiry about the police spying on people?”

Human Rights Day Reception

On 10th December Jenny attended a reception in Speaker’s House hosted by Amnesty International to mark International Human Rights Day. The event was a great success with Amnesty activists, school groups and parliamentarians all taking part in the Write for Rights campaign, writing letters and other messages to individuals at risk around the world. As a result of the event, Ann Clwyd MP has secured an adjournment debate on Tuesday 13th December where she will be referring to some of the specific cases from the Write for Rights campaign as well as the wider human rights contexts in some of those countries.

humanrightsday Continue reading “Human Rights Day Reception”

Do the police work for us, or for the Fracking corporations?

Fracking is being imposed on people by a government that doesn’t care about local democracy or climate change. This has led to legal challenges and protests as local people try to resist, with the police giving the impression that they are working on behalf of the fracking companies, without understanding their crucial role in supporting peaceful protest. It also appears that the police are using all the tools of anti-terrorism legislation to monitor and repress these protests. It is the biggest example we have of how the measures supposedly put in place to protect us are being used to protect the profits of the corporations from actions by ‘us’, the people.

fracking-protest-police-randi-sokoloff-shutterstock-com-1000-x-667

Image by Randi Sokoloff

Continue reading “Do the police work for us, or for the Fracking corporations?”

President Trump will know everything about you that our government knows

One of the lesser known bits of the Snooper’s Charter going through parliament is the sharing of intelligence with foreign powers such as the United States. It is a perfectly sensible idea in principle, as we all want our governments to cooperate in order to deal with international terrorism, but it will soon be used to examine the personal lives of millions of innocent people. Continue reading “President Trump will know everything about you that our government knows”

Jenny protests at the Lords acceptance of the Investigatory Powers Bill

This is a quote from Edward Snowden that Jenny yesterday read out in the Lords as the Labour Party allowed the Government to pass the third reading of Investigatory Powers Bill:

Edward Snowden is a former NSA contractor and whistleblower

There were boos when she declared the source of the speech and she finished by saying she believed the House would regret it’s failure to stop the Bill.

Jenny speaks out against the detention of pregnant women

Jenny initiated an hours debate (Question for Short Debate) on the detention of pregnant women. The debate takes place today in Grand Committee. The government is failing to tell support groups how many pregnant women are currently being detained. Jenny believes that NO pregnant women should be detained. The terrible stress, anxiety and hardship associated with detainment can only injure mothers and unborn children and should not be tolerated by a civilised society.  Here she explains her views