David Cameron Says Snooper's Charter Is Necessary Because Fictional Crime Dramas He Watches Prove It

from the did-he-really-just-say-that? dept

You may recall the stories from the past couple years about the so-called “snooper’s charter” in the UK — a system to further legalize the government’s ability to spy on pretty much all communications. It was setting up basically a total surveillance system, even beyond what we’ve since learned is already being done today. Thankfully, that plan was killed off by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron is back to pushing for the snooper’s charter — and his reasoning is as stupid as it is unbelievable. Apparently, he thinks it’s necessary because the fictional crime dramas he watches on TV show why it’s necessary. I am not joking, even though I wish I was:


In the most serious crimes [such as] child abduction communications data… is absolutely vital. I love watching, as I probably should stop telling people, crime dramas on the television. There’s hardly a crime drama where a crime is solved without using the data of a mobile communications device.

What we have to explain to people is that… if we don’t modernise the practice and the law, over time we will have the communications data to solve these horrible crimes on a shrinking proportion of the total use of devices and that is a real problem for keeping people safe.

Yes, he just said that. Because fictional characters on crime drama TV shows make use of data, that’s somehow proof that it’s necessary. Perhaps someone can send Cameron a copy of Enemy of the State or any other fictional work showing how the government can abuse such information. Or, better yet, let’s have our side stick with reality, and we can just point to real historical events of governments abusing such information.

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Comments on “David Cameron Says Snooper's Charter Is Necessary Because Fictional Crime Dramas He Watches Prove It”

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47 Comments
Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Probably not, but when keeping company with politicians, and having to listen to their debates, makes TV dramas seem very reasonable. Given the general lack of logic in most parliamentary debates, die to MP’s pushing a party line rather than respond to what the other side said, you can see why what is on the box looks like a sensible view of the world, at least programs has a consistent internal logic.

Anonymoussays:

He sure likes using children to push his agendas through. Spouting on about censoring the internet “for the children”. Plus tracking everyone’s movement information, “for the children”.

He’s another wacko that thinks government would never abuse this information to keep themselves in power. Using these very same “for the children” systems, to crush anyone who might oppose them. Including against their own people, who are being forced to fund these Orwellian systems.

Internet Zen Mastersays:

Re: Re:

To be fair, isn’t the whole covertly spying on citizens because “we’re the good guys” the whole point of S.H.I.E.L.D. to begin with? They are a supersecret spy agency after all.

That and the whole ‘we’ve got experience with alien tech, everyone else doesn’t and we don’t want them accidentally blowing up the planet’ thing…

No, no, no...

“Perhaps someone can send Cameron a copy of Enemy of the State or any other fictional work showing how the government can abuse such information.”

Let’s not give the mental midget any more great ideas. Isn’t it bad enough that they’re using 1984 as an (ab)users manual? These people don’t get the concept of “cautionary tale”.

anonsays:

Of course...

I watch Law and Order – so as I explain to others about the NSA uproar… consider the TV series. Nobody says “let’s tap their phone” any more. Instead, they say “look at phone logs for their cell – who did they call, at what time?” They don’t have minute-by-minute GPS tracking because nobody stores that data right now(huh?) but “what cell tower they were nearest” seems to pop up from time to time.

So the TV crap does indicate what information a police department could find useful.

If anything, Cameron proves what sort of information we should NOT be tracking oon a wholesale basis, should not be tracking except going forward with a warrant, not retroactively by dumpster-diving ATT’s database.

Because… if the police can access it – then why not the ex-wife subpoena it during divorce or custody disputes? The unemploment enforcement branch, to see if you were slacking off or looking for work? Your boss during a wrongful dismissal suit? It just gets stupider and stupider. Information does not exist in a vaccuum. If it’s available, people will want to use it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Of course...

“If it’s available, people will want to use it.”

True, that. I’ve grown more and more convinced as this whole NSA thing drags on and gets worse, that not only should governments stop using such things illegally, but the MEANS to gather such data should be destroyed and dismantled to ensure they stop. Because of the means remains, the temptation to use it will return again and again.

Anonymoussays:

Oh yeah, Cameron?

Well, according to TVTropes, widespread surveillance doesn’t actually help stop bad guys, because they know to shoot out cameras/wear masks/use disposable phones/etc.
In fact, widespread surveillance is only useful for villains (especially dystopian governments), who use it to sabotage heroes and exploit helpless citizens.

So, those “crime dramas” you watch either have unrealistically incompetent criminals, or are just straight-up propaganda. You should find something better to watch.

Jakesays:

Re: Re: question for England

Because he had a better marketing team, and in all honesty, the other major party really don’t have anything to brag about where civil liberties are concerned anyway; Cameron’s party actually toned down the house arrest conditions suspected terrorists are being held under because their evidence is apparently too sensitive to use in court.

John Cressmansays:

We also need crossbows! Lots of them!

We also need crossbows… because in all of the zombie shows I’ve watched, most of the guns run out of ammo and when they do fire, attract MORE zombies!

And… we need pixie dust. I’ve noticed in most of the cartoons that my nieces love, pixie or fairy dust saves the day often enough!

And… we need warp drives. In the sci-fi shows I watch, all of the ships would be destroyed if they didn’t have some sort of FTL (faster than light) drive.

Wow… of all of the idiotic states by idiotic politicians, that one is up there!

To honestly believe or portray that you believe that what happens on TV has relationship other than a passing relationship to what is in reality is moronic.

As a gun owner, I can tell you… VERY little about guns that is portrayed in movies or TV is accurate… ESPECIALLY when it comes to actually getting HIT. And I’ve yet to see someone pull out a “bullet” from someone on TV that didn’t look like an unfired slug and not the time of carry ammo a real cop, bad guy, etc. would be using.

As a programmer, I can tell you I have never seen ANYTHING remotely related to programming that was anywhere near even 50% accurate.

As a 2nd degree black belt, I can tell you that the martial arts you see on drama TV and movies is NO WHERE near real fighting. MMA is close, but let’s face it… it’s still a controlled environment.

I’m NOT an expert at driving, even though I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years, but I will say… most of the car chases you see on TV are about as unrealistic as it comes – especially the complete lack of traffic or complete lack of panicked drivers.

The list goes on and on and on.

For the leader of a country to make a statement comparing reality to TV is just mind boggling.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: We also need crossbows! Lots of them!

“VERY little about guns that is portrayed in movies or TV is accurate”

As a programmer, I can tell you that very little about computers that is portrayed in movies and TV is accurate. My wife is a nurse and will tell you that very little about about how hospitals and medical care works is portrayed with anything like accuracy.

…I’m sensing a theme here. Whenever anything at all is portrayed on TV and movies, it’s probably better to assume that it’s nothing like realistic. Especially if you’re involved in lawmaking.

Seegrassays:

Re: Re: We also need crossbows! Lots of them!

As a crossbowman, I can tell you… all those puny crossbows you see on TV probably are not strong enough to pierce a head over any distance. If you can draw it by hand, it might enter a skull, but sure as hell the bolt won’t come out on the other side. And for piercing helmets, you’ll need a crossbow that’s operated by cranquin or winch.

As a swordsman, I can tell you, all swords drawn on TV sound the same kind of wrong, and sword fights are never portrayed accurately.

Anonymoussays:

Lets focus on combating fictional villains instead of helping fictional good guys

We should focus on the reverse, not allowing what fictional heroes and detectives use to solve crimes and catch criminals.

We should instead focus on banning the practices of fictional villains!

For example, all kryptonite must be outlawed and destroyed, lest it be used to kill superman!

And because most criminal masterminds seem to have an infinite supply of money to hire thugs and buy weapons, we must make it a crime to have anymore then a million dollars in cash and assets combined! That way their criminal enterprise won’t be possible!

Oh and since so many of the bad guys are rapists, we also need to require by law that all men are castrated.

Franksays:

Omigawd

Where will the reality come from?
Education doesn’t provide critical thinking as a life skill. Huxley provides as much insight as Orwell on how the process works.
In the old days newspapers and other media never needed to declare editorial policy or enforce it after they learned to employ left and right proponents and assign them stories appropriately.
Exactly how did we move from objective reporting to subjective editorials – slowly over time hand in hand with the telly.
Now as the whistle blowers throw sand on the fire we’ll never know for sure if they are mid and dis information ops or the real thing used to identify certain dangerous profile types.
So along with the basic confirmation bias of humans we have massive surveillance and the safe of framing for the general populace aided and abetted by the media industries that are now single source governed only by flavour.
Something for everybody watching the waving hand.

s?n gỗ

As a gun owner, I can tell you… VERY little about guns that is portrayed in movies or TV is accurate… ESPECIALLY when it comes to actually getting HIT. And I’ve yet to see someone pull out a “bullet” from someone on TV that didn’t look like an unfired slug and not the time of carry ammo a real cop, bad guy, etc. would be using.

As a programmer, I can tell you I have never seen ANYTHING remotely related to programming that was anywhere near even 50% accurate.

As a 2nd degree black belt, I can tell you that the martial arts you see on drama TV and movies is NO WHERE near real fighting. MMA is close, but let’s face it… it’s still a controlled environment.

I’m NOT an expert at driving, even though I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years, but I will say… most of the car chases you see on TV are about as unrealistic as it comes – especially the complete lack of traffic or complete lack of panicked drivers.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Incompetent to hold office?

There are three ways:

* Parliament can declare that they have no confidence in him (by a simple plurality), which would mean either the Lib Dems breaking the coalition or backbenchers rebelling. At that point the queen could ask anyone she chose to try to form a government.
* The parliamentary party could decide to sack him, in which case he’ll (by convention) resign to avoid the embarrassment of a vote of no confidence. At that point the queen would by convention ask him to suggest a successor, but isn’t bound by his suggestion.
* The queen could sack him – that would be very unusual (as in not having happened for over a century), and would probably only be done if he were actually sectioned (involuntarily held as a lunatic as a danger to himself or others) or for some blatant and serious crime.

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