Police must be open as well as honest

Today I ask whether the government will ensure that the police have a ‘duty of candour’.

One of the main recommendations that came out of the recent report on the murder of Daniel Morgan is that the police should have a “duty of candour”. It seems such a simple and inoffensive change to how the police conduct themselves, but it would generate a flow of fresh air and transparency through the suffocating fog of the UK’s policing culture. The Daniel Morgan case is the most documented example of institutional corruption within the police, but is only one of many going back over several decades.

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Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition

My solicitors have written to the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police giving them until the 28th June to either stop using automated facial recognition technology or prove that they have a lawful basis to use it. This is their final chance before Big Brother Watch and I jointly initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court, where we will ask a judge to rule that automated facial recognition is an unlawful breach of our human rights. Continue reading “Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition”

Environmental Protections: Gove and the Lords vs the Treasury

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has gone to war with the mighty Treasury over their blocking progress on our environmental protections. There is a happy coincidence between this Cabinet bust up, the EU’s taking the government to court over its failure to act on air pollution and the Lords rejecting the government plans for a post Brexit environmental enforcement agency. It highlights why the government should scrap their current flabbyconsultation on the creation of an environmental protection agency and restart it based upon the Lords’ amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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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.

Blacklisting question

I’m asking the \Government this question in the Lords today:

“…what plans do they have to strengthen provisions in the Investigatory Powers Bill to increase the protection of data relating to trade union and political activities?”

Blacklisting destroys lives because employers can use it to punish people who stand up to them. Major employers can plunge families into poverty by stopping people working their chosen trade in the mainstream of a particular industry. In the construction industry, it was used to destroy the ability of working people to organise in defence of a safe working environment, which for several decades has been a matter of life and death.

I’m very concerned that the police and the state colluded in this horrible practice by sharing information with blacklisting companies. We know that undercover officers spied on trade unionists and the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing must assess whether this information was used by blacklisting companies. The Investigatory Powers Bill gives the police expanded powers to potentially do much worse damage to people’s lives in the future, but I don’t see the strong safeguards in place to stop systematic  information sharing people’s personal information with private companies.

John McDonnell MP has been very involved in helping to expose the links between blacklisting companies and the state. The ex-director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, has become a Labour peer. I hope that this will translate into the Labour Party doing everything it can to amend and oppose the appalling IP Bill in the Lords.