Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Started following up the Queen's speech, starting with the Civil Contingencies Bill (PDF). OK, why have I not heard about this before? Too much legislation, that's why... Having skimmed through the doc, it seems that this is pretty much a UK version of the US' PATRIOT Act - i.e. a vague definition of what an "emergency" is, followed by similarly vague but extremely enforcable compliance "procedures". So if something represents a danger to "the UK" as a whole, then it's ok to demand whatever you need (as a Minister of the Crown, or the Queen). If the emergency is "forthcoming", then the directions can be issued orally too, without any real recompense for revoking those directions.

Points of order:
1. Go through in more detail, highlight areas of interest.
2. Why can't I see this anywhere else? No doubt it'll be on NTK this week.

Alas, the consultation period ended, ironically enough, on September 11th - coincidence? A couple of random points:

- Given the Police's excitement to use anti-terrorist powers against protestors, et al, you'll forgive me (again) if I don't particularly trust the powers that be behind this one too.
- Seems the telecommunications industry is also the government's bitch through this, probably after the RIPA got shouted down.

Damn damn damn.

Some other URLs:

The gov's UK Resilience homepage - and why aren't they using standard .gov.uk domains?
Statewatch article
Continuity Central piece
Guardian article from back in June

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