Dodging the Jackboot 13


The existence of super injunctions is itself an indefensible restriction on freedom. The existence of gagging orders which are themselves secret is truly sinister. It also protects only the guilty – while your prostitute shagging footballer can get it hushed up “to protect his family”, it is precisely because the things are secret that they can be attributed wrongly to innocent (in this context) people like Jemima Khan.

But we should view with deep distrust the news that the Cabinet is going to discuss reform of the law, which will include regulation of social media. This is the same Cabinet which is looking to introduce a special track university entry for the British super-rich, who will be exempt from quotas and admissions competition if they pay large sums of dosh up front. There is no doubt whose interest the Cabinet will be looking to promote if they propose legislation which covers the ability to publish information about the rich and powerful.

The good news is, that in this new age of information technology, I am confident the judges and politicians will continue to be shown to be foolish by popular circumvention of whatever clumsy mechanism they seek to intrude in the path of electronic communication.


13 thoughts on “Dodging the Jackboot

  • mark_golding

    The idea of a watch-dog for Twitter and Facebook is absurd. Twitter is an extremely powerful tool for organising protest. As mentioned elsewhere there is a real fear that austerity protests will rise in the UK any-time soon certainly 2013 on. The government follows me on Twitter eh why?

  • Paul Johnston

    “which will include regulation of social media”

    Get real, here come the new Canutes!
    I think I spelt that right 🙂

  • Anon

    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
    .
    Plato (428 BC-348 BC)

  • mark_golding

    The self-controlled person, moving among objects, with his senses free from attachment and malevolence and brought under his own control, attains tranquility.
    ~ Bhagavad Gita II.64

  • A. Prole

    The next step will be to apply gagging orders to everyday gossip. What do you mean you can say stuff that the papers cannot print? This must be stopped.

  • Clark

    If you put a key on your wireless network, you become an enforcer in Big Brother’s attempt to control and monitor all use of the Internet.
    .
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/04/open-wireless-movement
    .
    Additionally, if lots of people opened their wireless networks, and also ran software allowing peer-to-peer DNS lookups, the Internet would move more into the hands of the people and out of the hands of the corporations. This would make Internet shutdowns, as enforced recently in Egypt, far more difficult, less thorough, and ultimately impossible.
    .
    The weakness in this scheme is insecure operating systems, Windows being the prime example. Paranoia about viruses etc encourage people to lock down everything they can. Its as if the most popular locks on the market were all faulty, causing everyone to support having a totalitarian police force to protect them from burglary.
    .
    Free speech, Free software, Free society.

  • deep green puddock

    About the super rich getting into (no doubt) Oxford and Cambridge, and maybe Durham and St. Andrews. ( I don’t suppose they will want to go to Dundee or Strathclyde),it reminds me of the Tom Sharpe hilarious play/TV series Porterhouse Blue where the porter-(Scallion? I think),arranged for exams to be sat by a penurious academic, for an appropriate fee.

    I presume that the super rich who cannot get in by merit will still have to pass the exams. I suspect that the effect will be rather incidental. Some blockheads will simply end up in great distress. There is nothing more miserable than being stuck with trying to keep up with the genuinely clever young, who are typically ruthless and unforgiving socially and intellectually, or trying to do stuff that they simply cannot do. Ot is like giving a gun to a coo.
    The alternative is that the examination and teaching process will be degraded to accommodate them, or Scallion type corruption will become entrenched. It would be lunacy for Oxford and Cambridge to take this route, as it would immediately lead to their loss of reputation, as the clever people took off to more serious outlets for their abilities.
    this process ahs already happened in the late 18th century when it became unsupportable to have an educational institution populated by block headed upper cruist hard drinking and carousing numbskulls. the rising middle classes simple said – screw that fora game of soldiers (i.e. expensive,exclusive,educationally substandard)and moved to set up their own parallel systwem with different values. Hence Imperial college, Manchester Uni plus many London colleges and many others.

    So it is interesting that the Tories have punted this, as it such a dead duck policy. How can they be so stupid. Well i think it is a good guide to the Tory mentality. They are actually stupid.

    I think that people with money will soon learn that education is a very fine thing but money has to be spent wisely. Money will not buy anyone into the exclusive society of the ‘smart’, except maybe as a milch/cash cow of some sort. Being exploited is no fun, even if they can afford it.

    Money can buy time so that less gifted people can eventually find an appropriate and satisfying role if they are serious about doing so, but my hunch is that the ‘super rich’ young and stupid will mostly just party, and that is best done with their own kind, away from smart asses, who will take the piss relentlessly in a way they will know is being done, but not even understand.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I’ve no problem with gossip about the sex lives of celebrities and politicians being censored. It should be, so the “journalists” at some of the tabloids have to actually investigate some real news that might make a difference for a change. The hacks and ‘private investigators’ who are spying on people purely to make money by selling gossip pretend they’re serving the public interest. They’re not – they’re distracting people from serious problems in order to get paid big money.

    I agree that we have to be wary about super-injunctions being applied to serious issues – though i’ve heard of no case of that so far.

  • Mark

    ‘About the super rich getting into (no doubt) Oxford and Cambridge, and maybe Durham and St. Andrews. ( I don’t suppose they will want to go to Dundee or Strathclyde),it reminds me of the Tom Sharpe hilarious play/TV series Porterhouse Blue where the porter-(Scallion? I think),arranged for exams to be sat by a penurious academic, for an appropriate fee.’
    On hearing of the Coalition’s latest wheeze to ‘widen access’ to higher Ed, I immediately thought of ‘Porterhouse Blue’ as well. As I recall, the duffers got in to Porterhouse by Daddy paying an ‘endowment subscription’, and when Finals came around the trusty Skullion would put them in touch with the aforementioned ‘penurious academics’.
    Thirty years on, it appears that ‘endowment subscriptions’ now have the Governments blessing. Bullingdon boys rule OK ?

  • Richard Robinson

    “I agree that we have to be wary about super-injunctions being applied to serious issues – though i’ve heard of no case of that so far.”

    They work ?

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