English news sources have reported a speech by MI-5 director Andrew Parker in which he is saying that ISIS is planning a mass attack on the U.K.. We can hope that his information is being handled, but some sources are saying that it may be a political ploy ahead of a new bill that increases the power of the British government for surveillance.
The Telegraph, Independent, and Mirror all U.K. news outlets, reported the same dire news. Mr. Parker stated that the level of threat to Britain was at a level he had not seen in his entire career. And THAT is probably the truth, given the mess that is in Britain today regarding the extremist levels in the country.
But is there a political basis for his statement? No doubt.
The “Snooper’s Charter”
Called the “Snooper’s Charter” by opponents, the Investigatory Powers Bill proposes new avenues for the British government to spy within the borders of the U.K.. The bill is due to come before Parliament on November 10, 2015.
Much of the bill is set to “modernize” the laws Britain already has on the books regarding the kind of communications currently used (social media,cell phones, etc). The U.K. has already been using what are called “general warrants” to justify snooping into communications.
The Independent wrote,
Speaking of the upcoming Investigatory Powers Bill – the so-called ‘snooper’s charter’ – Mr Parker said MI5 was not seeking “sweeping new intrusive powers” but rather a “modern legal framework that reflects the way that technology has moved on, and that allows us to continue to keep the country safe”.
The bill, due to be published by parliament on November 10, will outline with greater clarity the powers of the intelligence services and the police to use surveillance to carry out investigations and gather intelligence in the digital age.
But the opposition is calling it rubbish…
Robert Paulson wrote in a Facebook post that garnered a lot of attention:
“Whilst there’s an ever present threat of terrorism against the UK, this has been widely reported across the media, but there’s a crucial bit missing from the report. Namely the director general of British intelligence agency MI5 has used a rare speech in London, “one week before the anticipated publication of a bill setting out a wide range of surveillance powers”, to insist that the terrorist threat faced by the UK is greater than at any time in his career. We have spin on everything but call me wrong but to amplify threats to condone a bill being passed just isn’t on.”
What price liberty?
MI5 says that British intelligence needs the ability to “access terrorists’ communications” and promises to use them within a rigid legal framework. Parker mentioned that they would not go “browsing at will” through people’s lives. ” Have we heard this before? Patriot Act sound familiar?
Balance is tough in view of the depth of the threats in either Britain or the US. We all depend upon our intelligence services to keep us safe. But let’s face it- government policies have been turned around to be used against ordinary citizens. In Britain, their own laws and politically correct atmosphere have nearly destroyed what was left of liberty in their country.
Trusting the government- any government – just isn’t possible any more. Will giving the intelligence and law enforcement services tools to snoop deeper actually help their nation? Can they stop Muslim extremists or can we? What do you think?
“The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after ha shall have entered.” Thomas Jefferson