British government censors over 1,800 petitions


This video is called ‘Enemy of the Internet’ – UK accused of mass surveillance & censorship.

By Luke James in Britain:

Monday 2nd of June 2014

Coalition shuts down two a day in bid to stifle dissent

David Cameron’s claim to lead the most open government ever is collapsing today as the Morning Star can reveal that over 1,800 official government e-petitions have been shut down.

The Tory Prime Minister promised to throw open Whitehall’s corridors of power to the people before walking into Downing Street in 2010.

His Con-Dem government established an official petitions website in July 2011 in a bid to prove its commitment to improving Britain’s democracy.

Then leader of the House of Commons Sir George Young said it was “an important way of building a bridge between people and Parliament.”

But documents released after a freedom of information request by the Morning Star reveal that 1,869 e-petitions have been spiked since the site was set up.

The revelations come amid growing concerns that the government is censoring petitions that are politically inconvenient for the coalition.

The website states that “an e-petition may freely disagree with the government or call for changes of policy.”

But Stop the War warns that the government had tried to ban its petition against Nato troops being sent to Ukraine.

The campaign revealed last Thursday that a petition submitted to the government’s website on May 7 with the support of two MPs had been held back by the Ministry of Defence for weeks.

Convener Lindsey German said: “The government is censoring its own platform for public opposition because it is scared of public opinion.”

In a telling twist, the government ended its three-week ban on the petition when Ms German alerted journalists to the situation, immediately making the petition live.

“As soon as journalists began phoning the Ministry of Defence the government backed down and published the petition,” a Stop the War spokesman said.

More than 4,000 people have since backed the campaign’s call to keep Nato forces out of Ukraine.

The Star also revealed in April how 61 official e-petitions calling for Maria Miller to resign as Culture Secretary were shut down before they could attract any signatures.

Labour MP Ian Mearns labelled the blanket ban an attack on “democracy and openness.”

He sits on the backbench business committee that can choose petitions that attract 100,000 signatures for debate in Parliament.

A similar petition on an unofficial site calling for Ms Miller to go gained far more than the 100,000 limit.

A note beneath that petition explained it was rejected because calling for Ms Miller to resign, which she subsequently did, was “outside the responsibility of government.”

Breaking confidentiality, libel or defamation law and the use of offensive language are other reasons e-petitions can be rejected.

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David Cameron accused of child abuse cover-up


This video from Britain says about itself:

Pretty Chilling: Jimmy Savile And His “Love” For Margaret Thatcher

29 Dec 2012

Jimmy Savile’s hold over Downing Street in the 80s is revealed in a series of letters in which he declares his “love” for Margaret Thatcher, according to newly released records.

Very disturbing: Jimmy, UKs posthumous “worse than Jack the Ripper”, telling the Prime Minister about his jealous “girl patients”…

(Courtesy of skyNEWS)

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Was Cameron aide Patrick Rock tipped off about impending arrest?

Labour accuse No 10 of lack of transparency over resignation as government refuses to reveal exact timings of events

Rowena Mason, political correspondent

Tuesday 4 March 2014 20.47 GMT

David Cameron is under pressure to explain whether his senior aide Patrick Rock was tipped off by Downing Street that he was accused of an offence related to child abuse images hours before his arrest by police.

Labour accused Number 10 late Tuesday of a “lack of transparency” about the senior adviser’s resignation and subsequent arrest, which took place nearly three weeks ago but only became public after a leak to a newspaper.

It also emerged that the aide was previously accused of “inappropriate behaviour” by a colleague and this incident was investigated by his line manager, Ed Llewellyn, Cameron’s chief of staff, who is also an old friend of Rock’s.

The prime minister on Tuesday said he was “profoundly shocked” by allegations against Rock, who had worked on government policy about placing filters on internet pornography to protect children.

He insisted Downing Street has given “very full and straightforward answers” about the matter once a newspaper found out about the arrest.

However, the government has refused to give any exact timings around their discovery of the allegations, including when the police were alerted, when Rock was informed, when he resigned, and when Cameron found out.

Downing Street would only say that the police were alerted “immediately” when the matter arose on 12 February and Rock resigned the same day. He was arrested in his west London home in the early hours of 13 February – a “few hours” after Downing Street reported it to police. The responses suggest Rock knew he was accused of a serious potential offence the day before he was arrested.

Cameron’s official spokesman also declined to disclose the level of vetting given to Rock, 62, whether the alleged offence took place in Downing Street, and how the resignation came about.

Officers from the National Crime Agency subsequently examined computers and offices used in Downing Street by Rock, who was the deputy director of No 10′s policy unit.

Tom Watson, a senior Labour MP who is calling for a public inquiry into the abuse allegations, told the Guardian: “There is a duty of care to Mr Rock, who has not been charged with anything as of today, yet I do think it is not unreasonable for Downing Street to explain why he resigned hours before the police appear to have acted.”

Another Labour MP, John Mann, criticised the secrecy about details of the arrest and questioned the decision of Number 10 to keep silent for three weeks. “Yet again we are seeing a lack of transparency from No 10. It is highly inappropriate that a major figure could cease to be responsible for these policy areas without MPs and the public being made aware. We need to be sure there are no policy implications,” he told the Evening Standard.

However, Cameron insisted it would not have been appropriate to “pre-emptively” brief the story before Downing Street was asked questions about it.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said the complaint of “alleged inappropriate behaviour” during Rock’s employment at No 10 was not linked to his arrest. He said this was “resolved” with the agreement of the complainant and Cameron was “aware” of such internal staffing matters.

This “inappropriate behaviour” complaint was investigated by a senior civil servant and Llewellyn, Cameron’s chief of staff and an old Etonian, who worked alongside Rock with Lord Patten during the peer’s time as a European commissioner in Brussels. Cameron and Rock also worked together as special advisers to Michael Howard in his time as home secretary in the mid 1990s.

The arrest of Rock who had been tipped for a Tory peerage, will have come as a severe shock to the prime minister and the Tory establishment.

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British government’s Internet censor in child abuse scandal


This video says about itself:

A Simple Question: Internet censorship in the West

10 January 2014

Despite its historic and international reputation for heralding free speech, the United Kingdom has the second strictest censorship of the internet in the European Union.

The UK has a number of laws and policies that restrict the way information can be made public, including some that make it illegal to report on information that the government or corporations are trying to keep secret.

During the London riots, David Cameron ordered the censorship of social networking sites, and his censorship plans have been applauded by China.

Western governments are attempting to put forward laws that further restrict the freedoms of internet usage such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

These are all argued to be internet filtering systems and policies on a national and international level that stifle the ability of internet users to discuss, question and critique and risks the internet becoming a tool of political and economic power for the ruling elite.

In this edition of the show we talk to British public about the Freedom of Information in the West and ask; why do you think Western governments engage in censorship and make it illegal for the public to share certain information?

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Cameron aide arrested over allegations relating to child abuse images

Patrick Rock resigned as deputy head of Downing Street‘s policy last month on day before arrest

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent

Tuesday 4 March 2014

A senior aide to David Cameron resigned from Downing Street last month the day before being arrested on allegations relating to child abuse images.

Patrick Rock, who was involved in drawing up the government’s policy for the large internet firms on online pornography filters, resigned after No 10 was alerted to the allegations.

Rock was arrested at his west London flat the next morning. Officers from the National Crime Agency subsequently examined computers and offices used in Downing Street by Rock, the deputy director of No 10′s policy unit, according to the Daily Mail, which disclosed news of his arrest.

No 10 confirmed on Monday evening that Rock had been arrested. A spokesman: “On the evening of 12 February, Downing Street was first made aware of a potential offence relating to child abuse imagery. It was immediately referred to the National Crime Agency (CEOP).

“The prime minister was immediately informed and kept updated throughout. Patrick Rock was arrested at his home in the early hours of 13 February, a few hours after Downing Street had reported the matter. Subsequently, we arranged for officers to come into No 10 and have access to all IT systems and offices they considered relevant.

“This is an ongoing investigation so it would not be appropriate to comment further, but the prime minister believes that child abuse imagery is abhorrent and that anyone involved with it should be properly dealt with under the law.”

The arrest of Rock, 62, who had been tipped for a Tory peerage, will have come as a severe shock to the PM and the Tory establishment.

Cameron and Rock worked together as special advisers to Michael Howard in his time as home secretary in the mid 1990s. Rock later worked for Lord Patten alongside Cameron’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, during his time as a European commissioner in Brussels.

Rock was never a member of Cameron’s innermost circle, whose members are closer to the prime minister’s age. But he was a respected and trusted figure who shared Cameron’s sense of humour.

The Daily Telegraph columnist Benedict Brogan recalled in 2011, when Rock started working in No 10, that he and Cameron repaired to the Two Chairmen pub on the day John Smith died in 1994.

“We both agreed that Blair coming meant that we would be fucked,” he was quoted as saying. Brogan also wrote that Rock coined the phrase: “Cows moo, dogs bark, Labour put up taxes.”

Rock helped to draw up government policy which led to the deal with the internet giants on online filters. Under the deal, all households connected to the internet will be contacted to be asked if they would like the filters installed.

Rock faced embarrassment last year when he was photographed walking up Downing Street clutching a document outlining progress on hundreds of pledges made by the coalition. Ed Miliband said the document, which admitted that some of the 399 pledges had not been met, was an “audit of coalition broken promises“.

Patrick Rock: hard-nosed, influential member of Tory party establishment. The 62-year-old, who has been arrested over allegations relating to child abuse images, was deputy director of policy for No 10: here.

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