Monday, November 10, 2008

Controlling the Media: the UK Patriot Act?

MPs seek to censor the media
Exclusive by Kim Sengupta
London Independent
Monday, 10 November 2008

Britain's security agencies and police would be given unprecedented and legally binding powers to ban the media from reporting matters of national security, under proposals being discussed in Whitehall.

The Intelligence and Security Committee, the parliamentary watchdog of the intelligence and security agencies which has a cross-party membership from both Houses, wants to press ministers to introduce legislation that would prevent news outlets from reporting stories deemed by the Government to be against the interests of national security.

The committee also wants to censor reporting of police operations that are deemed to have implications for national security. The ISC is to recommend in its next report, out at the end of the year, that a commission be set up to look into its plans, according to senior Whitehall sources.


some of the comments to the article:

If Churchill were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave..... Unlike the politiians who are spinning just about everywhere...
Posted by Jem | 10.11.08, 07:34 GMT

Why don't the government just pass the "UK Patriot Act" and be done with it! That is where they want to get to after all, except they are doing it incrementally (while the British people sleepwalk into 1984).

For all we hear about terrorism and terrorist threats, you would think that we were under siege. It is not as if we are suffering frequent attacks (unlike the terror this country visisted on the poor Iraqi people).

There is an episode of Spooks on the BBC tonight. Can you guess the theme? Yes, thats right, it's those muslims again! Lets brainwash Britain some more. During this episode, the bad guy (Al Qaida) talks about the 85,000 Iraqi's who have died since the invasion of Iraq.
85,000!? Nice try Auntie! Try 1,000,000 Iraqi deaths. Shame on you BBC. Shame! Shame! Shame!
Posted by Khalil Muslim | 10.11.08, 13:29 GMT
"All that evil needs is for good men to do nothing."

The danger in the UK comes NOT from the Government, for it is in there nature to acquire more power, and power corrupts, this we know.

The danger in the UK comes from we the people, most of the populus are asleep. Therefore the danager comes from us that are reading this article, giving a damn, posting then doing nothing...

What will you do?
Posted by wearechangeHerts | 10.11.08, 13:30 GMT
This sort of thing just makes the transition to a Police state easier. We will never be told about decisions, people can go missing, government do not have to account for their actions. Will there be any difference between this country and North Korea, China or the old Soviet Union?
Posted by AndyUK | 10.11.08, 07:26 GMT
The above idea leads to a police state. Along with the usual mantra: 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear'. I am concerned at the direction the current government is taking the country into.
Posted by Catherine | 10.11.08, 07:20 GMT
Let me get this right. The police already have sweeping powers to do virtually as they please simply by "designating" an area to do it in, and now we, the ignorant general public, are specifically to be denied any explanation of why they are doing it. Sounds like just another step towards the planned police state to me.
Didn't Britain once have a reputation for fighting *for* freedom, rather than fighting freedom?
Memo: make link to Wikileaks on computer.
Posted by Steve C | 10.11.08, 07:30 GMT
What seems reasonable for the protection of service personnel, gets destroyed when it could (and probably would) become a repressive tool in the hands of any authoritarian government. Labour has a poor record in civil and human rights since the advent of Bliar and Brown.

Yet, major responsibility must rest with the media themselves, who have also done themselves no favours over the past years with irresponsible, and often untrue reporting.

Can the judiciary be charged with the responsibility of issuing these notices and have them backed up by law? The only problem here is the current confusion between Law and Justice, which also seem incompatible these days. Still better than politicians and civil servants though, surely?

However, until the standards of pre-Murdoch times are restored it is hard to see how this issue can be resolved.
Posted by Norman Clark | 10.11.08, 07:25 GMT

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