UK Liberty


Posted in freedom of speech by ukliberty on September 19, 2008

The Telegraph:

A prominent British National Party member and teacher used a school computer to criticise immigrants and Muslims, it is claimed.

Adam Walker could be banned from the profession for alleged racial and religious intolerance if the charges are proved.

He is believed to be the first teacher to be hauled before England’s General Teaching Council to face the charge.

But Christina McAnea, of the Unison union, questioned whether BNP members should be allowed to teach.

“Schools should be centres of learning and tolerance, not a breeding ground for the poisonous views of the BNP,” she said.

Why does McAnea think she has the right to dictate who may and who may not teach based on their political views rather than their abilities?

Now, if his contract or terms of employment forbid contributing to websites or accessing particular websites, fair enough, he should face a disciplinary action.  But that does not seem to be the underlying issue here, but rather that he is a member of the BNP.


So what?

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on September 19, 2008

The Sunday Times:

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

Oh noes, the end of the world.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges

– or rather, just allowed them to get on with it, as is the law –

to rule on cases ranging from divorce

– er no, not one recognisable in English law –

and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

– unless it’s a criminal matter.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

Clearly this is meant as a pejorative.  All that they are doing is using the Act as it was intended.

Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case. …

And a good thing too that freely consenting adults should be able to come to such arrangements, provided the procedures are fair.

We’re not allowed to see the ContactPoint security review

Posted in database state, surveillance society by ukliberty on September 19, 2008


ARCH members will know that we have put in a Freedom of Information request for the full security review of Contactpoint (following publication of the executive summary) so far without success.

Our internal appeal has now been rejected and so it’s onwards and upwards to the Information Commissioner and, probably, the Information Tribunal. Amongst other things, the rejection notice says that making the Deloitte report available would undermine security ‘by potentially making it easier for those seeking to access the system unlawfully to succeed.’

The executive summary seems pretty damning in itself::

  1. security hasn’t been adequately designed in from inception (a common cause of security breaches);
  2. the right people haven’t been involved in the design of the security controls that do exist (a common cause of project failure);
  3. stakeholders are unclear about responsibilities and accountabilities (a common cause of project failure);
  4. technical and procedural controls are not subject to formal assurance under a recognised standard;
  5. processes for secure disposal of electronic and hard-copy media do not exist;
  6. there is unclear or no guidance about information security matters (again lack of effective engagement with stakeholders, a common cause of project failure);
  7. there hasn’t ever been a formal risk assessment and there hasn’t been much of a risk assessment at all since 2004;
  8. there is no ‘formal assurance using a recognised framework’ for security controls and countermeasures; and,
  9. the self-certification process poses a significant risk.

So it looks like ContactPoint may well be added to my Government IT Gone Wrong page.  Which is nice.