jm + police + crime   5

The best thing to mark National Stalking Awareness Week would be to scrap the law on stalking
"The Secret Barrister" explains a classic case of empty-gesture lawmaking in the UK:
in 2012, the coalition government, in a fit of virtue signalling, announced a bold plan to offer extra protection to victims of stalking, following a rash of reported cases where obsessive nutjobs had slipped through the net. Hence, via the 2012 Act, section 2A was shoved into the Protection from Harassment Act, creating a shiny new offence of stalking.

What is stalking, you ask? Well here’s the clever bit. Stalking is…”a course of conduct which amounts to harassment…and [where] the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking“. To inject some colour into the dull circularity of the definition, section 2A(3) provides “examples of acts or omissions associated with stalking”. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant is guilty of both harassment and stalking, in order to convict them of stalking. Therefore, proving stalking is by definition harder for the prosecution than simply proving harassment.

And what do you get if you opt for the harder road? What prize awaits the victorious prosecutor who has slogged her way through the additional evidential burden thrust upon her by section 2A? The answer is….nothing. Or at least, nothing more than if you successfully prosecuted for harassment. The maximum sentence in each case is 6 months’ imprisonment.

It is the very definition of empty gesture legislating. Section 2A is so very pointlessly pointless that I want urgently to go back in time to the day when then-crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne was hubristically prattling on about what a difference this law is going to make and shove a whoopee pie right up his schnoz. Section 2A does nothing other than create a new offence that is harder to prove than an existing offence that prohibits the same conduct, solely, it seems, to allow for the drawing of an entirely semantic distinction between “harassment” and “stalking”.
harrassment  stalking  law  legislation  uk  police  crime  prosecution 
september 2016 by jm
Canadian Police Obtained BlackBerry’s Global Decryption Key in 2010
According to technical reports by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that were filed in court, law enforcement intercepted and decrypted roughly one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages in connection with the probe. The report doesn't disclose exactly where the key — effectively a piece of code that could break the encryption on virtually any BlackBerry message sent from one device to another — came from. But, as one police officer put it, it was a key that could unlock millions of doors.
Government lawyers spent almost two years fighting in a Montreal courtroom to keep this information out of the public record.
canada  crime  encryption  security  blackberry  crypto  rcmp  police  rogers  montreal  rim 
april 2016 by jm
How Stingrays were unmasked
'THE DRAGNET: How a man accused of million-dollar fraud uncovered a never before seen, secret surveillance device'
stingrays  crime  fraud  surveillance  mobile  police  imsi-catchers 
january 2016 by jm
Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate
The Anderson Report to the House of Lords in the UK on RIPA introduces a concept of a "red line":
"Firm limits must also be written into the law: not merely safeguards, but red lines that may not be crossed." …   
"Some might find comfort in a world in which our every interaction and movement could be recorded, viewed in real time and indefinitely retained for possible future use by the authorities. Crime fighting, security, safety or public health justifications are never hard to find." [13.19] 

The Report then gives examples, such as a perpetual video feed from every room in every house, the police undertaking to view the record only on receipt of a complaint; blanket drone-based surveillance; licensed service providers, required as a condition of the licence to retain within the jurisdiction a complete plain-text version of every communication to be made available to the authorities on request; a constant data feed from vehicles, domestic appliances and health-monitoring personal devices; fitting of facial recognition software to every CCTV camera and the insertion of a location-tracking chip under every individual's skin.

It goes on:
"The impact of such powers on the innocent could be mitigated by the usual apparatus of safeguards, regulators and Codes of Practice. But a country constructed on such a basis would surely be intolerable to many of its inhabitants. A state that enjoyed all those powers would be truly totalitarian, even if the authorities had the best interests of its people at heart." [13.20] …  

"The crucial objection is that of principle. Such a society would have gone beyond Bentham's Panopticon (whose inmates did not know they were being watched) into a world where constant surveillance was a certainty and quiescence the inevitable result. There must surely come a point (though it comes at different places for different people) where the escalation of intrusive powers becomes too high a price to pay for a safer and more law abiding environment." [13.21]
panopticon  jeremy-bentham  law  uk  dripa  ripa  surveillance  spying  police  drones  facial-recognition  future  tracking  cctv  crime 
november 2015 by jm
UK company selling "have you been phished" check using stolen data
according to this, a retired cop has set up a company called Lucid Intelligence with 'the records of four million Britons, and 40 million people worldwide, mostly Americans', and plans to 'charge members of the public for access to his database to check whether their data security has been breached.' How is this legal under Data Protection law? wtf
privacy  uk  law  hacking  phishing  fraud  crime  police  database  identity-theft  lucid-intelligence  data-protection  security  colin-holder 
july 2009 by jm

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: