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Tories push Orwellian “Intercept Modernisation Programme”

October 20th, 2010 Posted in coalition, Conservatives, freedom, Opinion by

GUEST POST: Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch warns of the continuing IMP. Are the Tories burying news of this “surveillance state” mechanism?


You may have seen that the appalling “Intercept Modernisation Programme” is to continue. Buried in the recently released Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Government plans to introduce

a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications

This comes despite the Conservative Party’s recent pledge to reverse the rise of the surveillance state.

If you can bear it, do please have a look at that last link. It’s remarkable that they’ve left the paper on the Party website; perhaps the thinking (and I say this as a Tory) is that everyone’s so concerned with the spending review that nobody will notice the rank hypocrisy?

Whatever the explanation, leaving it up breaks with the longstanding tradition of repainting the commandments on the side of the barn whenever Napoleon changes his mind.

And as readers of LV will know all too well, this can’t be blamed on the formation of the Coalition. The Liberal Democrats are (or hitherto have been) admirably sound on the issue and the Coalition Agreement promised to “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.”

Couple this with the disgusting u-turn on the Summary Care Record, despite similarly clear and concrete promises, and a troubling picture emerges; it is fascinating and dreadful to see the speed of bureaucratic capture, the reversion to bureaucratic authoritarianism on show – intrusions are piling up so fast that my extended essay published last week is already out of date.

The IMP will allow the security services and the police to spy on the activities of everyone using a phone or the internet. Every communications provider will be obliged to store details of your communications for at least a year and obliged in due course to surrender them up to the authorities. The authorities will be able to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public on the absurd pretext that it will help to tackle crime or terrorism.

Just see how the surveillance state is being reversed, eh?

4 Responses to “Tories push Orwellian “Intercept Modernisation Programme””

  1. Dave Atherton Says:

    As a Tory can I register my disgust at this frightening new turn in personal freedom.

    Looks like Sir Humphrey has got his way and shame on Theresa May for giving in.

  2. Steve Windon Says:

    I actually became enthused about politics again because of the LibDems and the recent general election.

    I sit here 6 months later and I’m more cynical about politicians in general and the LD’s in particular than I’ve ever been.

    The expenses scandal was a low point for my opinion of the political classes but the way I feel betrayed by the Lib Dems spineless , self interested u-turns on tuition fees and the IMP is beyond description (literally tears of frustration).

    Damn politics, damn the politicians and damn this country, I just hate it and don’t want my children to grow up here.

  3. HowardR Says:

    Erm…. I know that by nature conservative folk are naive but what else, pray tell, did you expect?

  4. Christopher Says:

    blogroll links?