Privacy-friendly judges?

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Paul Bernal's Blog

Supreme court sealYesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, requiring the police to get a warrant before accessing a suspect’s mobile phone data, was remarkable in many ways. It demonstrated two things in particular that fit within a recent pattern around the world, one which may have quite a lot to do with the revelations of Edward Snowden. The first is that the judiciary shows a willingness and strength to support privacy rights in the face of powerful forces, the second is an increasing understanding of the way that privacy, in these technologically dominated days, is not the simple thing that it was in the past.

The stand-out phrase in the ruling is remarkable in its clarity:

13-132 Riley v. California (06/25/2014)

“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans “the privacies of life,”…

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No more austerity: are protests ‘news’?

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Paul Bernal's Blog

On Saturday 21st June the People’s Assembly, Trade Unions and campaigning groups held what they described as a ‘national demonstration and free festival’ to ‘demand’ an alternative to austerity. As expressed on the People’s Assembly website:

“Living standards continue to drop, forcing millions into poverty, yet the politicians remain addicted to austerity.

This demonstration will assemble right on the BBC’s doorstep and march to Parliament to demand that the alternative to austerity is no longer ignored. Join us.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 09.03.22

50,000 or more people did join them, including Russell Brand, Green MP Caroline Lucas and others. And yet the result, at least as far as the BBC was concerned, was that the protest, and the alternative to austerity was ignored. On the day, the BBC gave it no coverage at all, to the fury of the protest organisers and the radical twittersphere. Eventually the BBC did put up a cursory mention…

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British values?

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Paul Bernal's Blog

Whenever I hear the words ‘British values’ it sends shivers down my spine – and gives me a deep sense of suspicion as to the motives of those using the words. Michael Gove’s evocation is the latest but he’s far from alone – a good deal of UKIP’s ‘appeal’ rests on some kind of a sense of ‘British values’, while Labour are just as guilty of it as the Tories.

Perhaps I’m jaundiced – and perhaps it’s something about my age – but I’m also always reminded of the excellent Tom Robinson song ‘Power in the Darkness’, which sums it up for me. The key part is this:

“Today, institutions fundamental
To the British system of government are under attack
The public schools, the house of lords
The church of England, the holy institution of marriage
Even our magnificent police force are no longer safe
From those who would undermine…

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JSA Claimant Off-flows 2005 to 2009 Inclusive – Reasons by Occupation (Found work or increased work to more than 16 hours a week)

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0 : Occupation unknown = 5,015

1 : Managers and Senior Officials = 330,630

2 : Professional Occupations = 245,820

3 : Associate Professional and Technical Occupations = 395,265

4 : Administrative and Secretarial Occupations = 682,780

5 : Skilled Trades Occupations = 655,760

6 : Personal Service Occupations = 259,500

7 : Sales and Customer Service Occupations = 743,020

8 : Process, Plant and Machine Operatives = 617,820

9 : Elementary Occupations = 1,253,990

These single digit Standard Occupational Classification 2000 major groups may be further broken down to two digit SOC2000 sub-major groups and three digit SOC2000 minor groups.

NB Figures are for Great Britain.

Unfair Policies, a result of Government denying the Truth? #ImpeachDWP #NOWPetition

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jaynelinney

Two very different articles in my inbox this morning,  epitomise the way Government purposefully Selects what information to use and,or misuse at will; this (mis)management of data hides the Truth and unfortunately appears to underpin the current behaviour of some MPs.

At a recent Scrutiny meeting of the Public Accounts Committee,  the Head of the Major Projects Authority (MPA), John Manzoni confirmed the  ‘reset’ Universal Credit Project budget is still un agreed, this was one of several revealing disclosures about UC; Manzoni, in the final minutes of the hearing stated “I am not actually sure that DWP has set out Universal Credit budget at the moment“. This statement is alarming, particularly as it comes  four month after The Minister for DWP Iain Duncan Smith. informed the Work & Pension Select “We understand that DWP has now submitted the Universal Credit Strategic Outline Business Case to the Treasury for approval and expects to…

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The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2

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jaynelinney

Yesterday I asked if you thought our campaign for The Truth & Statistics was worth it; overwhelmingly you all share our need for truth, and for this I THANK YOU  and am pleased to report the sharing of the post resulted in another 200 signatures; today I’m picking up on the comments and you advice offered and setting out the current tags, possible promotional ideas  etc for our campaign.

Our second petition reads-

The House of Commons – Stop Ministers Spinning Statistics  Enforce the Recommendations of W&P Select of Use of DWP Statistics.

  Last year over 100,006 people said Hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his misuse of Statistics, both The  Work & Pensions Select 3rd Report Monitoring the Perfomance of DWP 2012/13 and the Public Administration Committee 1st Report Agreed.

We demand The House accepts these Recommendation and Ensures Minsters and others present statistics in a way that…

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