back to article Still too much discretion when it comes to that 'terrorism' stuff, repeats David Anderson QC

There is still too much discretion in what the State is talking about when discussing terrorism, according to the outgoing independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. Seeking to limit the growth of public suspicion regarding the State's increasing investigatory powers, it is still necessary to establish a proper definition …

  1. inmypjs Silver badge

    "The absence of"...

    "The absence of recent fatal incidents in the UK reflects well on the security and intelligence agencies"

    By that does he mean they haven't shot anyone by mistake recently?

  2. Thought About IT

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said ...

    If terrorism is the threat of action "designed to influence the government...", why haven't they locked up all the lobbyists, instead of gutting the unions and forcing new contracts on junior doctors?

    1. Alexander J. Martin

      Re: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said ...

      Indeed, but section 1.2 of the TA2000 defines 'action' in that sense as that which:

      (a)involves serious violence against a person,

      (b)involves serious damage to property,

      (c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

      (d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

      (e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said ...

        I'd argue that the Ambulance service privatisation falls under section (c) and the forcing junior doctors to work whilst exhausted section (d).

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said ...

          Section (c) could be read to include: eyecatching advertising billboards, under-dressed hitchhikers, or playing cricket too close to a road, among many other forms of terrorism.

          It's a stupid law and the people who supported it are stupid people.

  3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Don't blame Snowden, blame GCHQ

    ...the spread of encryption, a long-standing trend accelerated since 2013 in reaction to Edward Snowden unconscionable mass surveillance...

    FTFY

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Don't blame Snowden, blame GCHQ

      "Blaming" is incorrect, as encryption is good...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't blame Snowden, blame GCHQ

        Yes, somebody please buy a plot of land outside GCHQ's donut and put an Edward Snowden statue there. I'm American, so I will work on the same thing outside the Fort Meade main gate.

  4. Ole Juul

    Opportunity for suppression.

    there have only been two deaths in the UK from terrorist attacks in the last 11 years

    And yet the effect of "terrorism" has been vastly broader than that.

    Internet companies which may once have seen themselves as neutral carriers of content are coming to understand that it is incumbent on them also to edit that content: but it is a role with which not all are comfortable, and the process is fraught with difficulty.

    The practice and acceptance of censorship has been pushed beyond anything that is even remotely acceptable in a civilised society. The loss of freedom due to the opportunistic actions of governments is unacceptable.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huh ?

    "Despite this, outside Northern Ireland, there have only been two deaths in the UK from terrorist attacks"

    So deaths in N.Ireland don't count?? Maybe it's because ...

    1. Are they somehow lesser individuals than the rest of us.

    2. N.Ireland terrorism is somehow "normal", it's only important if it's in GB

    3. Terrorism only matters if it's the really, really bad guys

    That's a very strange, almost offensive, way of classifying victims.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh ?

      It's the usual "capital syndrome". The farther away a citizen is from the seat of power, the cheaper life becomes.

      On the bright side, if an earthquake wipes out Northern Ireland and the Orkenys, your chances of getting the most help are pretty good.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Huh ?

      4 It counts as business as usual.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Huh ?

        That's basically the same as 2, isn't it?

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Huh ?

      "So deaths in N.Ireland don't count?? Maybe it's because ..."

      The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      Yes, it's disingenuous to not include NI in the stats, bit then that's how "spin" works. Stick to the truth, part of the truth and embellish the truth so as to not actually lie.

      It's a bit like "90% fat free" sounds better than "10% fat included"

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Where does the buck stop ... and where are housed hundreds of arrogant fools and ignorant tools?

    amanfromMars [1612020939] ….. telling it like it is in IT and Media with Remote Command and Virtual Control on http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/investigatory-powers-bill-a7447781.html

    :-) Politicians may think themselves exempted from surveillance but intelligence would ensure that such was an impossibility.

    Anything else would be tantamount to national intelligence services admitting to every man and his dog that they be in the pay of foreign agents and anonymous spooky non-state actors, and do you imagine that be currently so?

    The questions there are ..... Do the likes of an MI5/MI6/GCHQ/MOD, batting and battling for Blighty with presumably now mightily sighted Brits, lead future activities with novel premium priming intelligence or do they follow with sub-prime reaction to the professional action of others, outed and described by this eminent Rumsfeldism ..... There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    muppetry

    "The absence of recent fatal incidents in the UK reflects well on the security and intelligence agencies, on counter-terrorism policing, and on a criminal justice system which has shown itself equal to the task of prosecuting terrorists"

    .. or alternatively it shows that in the UK, like many other countries, terrorist acts are uncommon.

    The UK gov love the (quite small) "terrorist threat" as it's an excuse for a surveillance state the stasi would have loved.

    I, like many people with a basic understanding of the mathematics of risk, am far more worried for my life by "everyday" mundane activities e.g.

    Crossing the road / being in a vehicle - general interaction with the road system a much greater risk to my life than a Jihadi

    Ignoring roads, I live in a radon area which also is not a smokeless zone (so coal fires, solid fuel burners common in the area) - just being there gives a boost to my risk of a variety of diseases.

    .. and don't get me started on the dangers of garden tools such as chainsaws, lawnmowers (esp. if electricity involved)

    The terrorists have long since won - precious liberties & privacy lost, creates a climate where authoritarianism thrives by means of a few, small attacks. (less lives lost than (some say often a bit dubious deaths) in police custody, but don't hear many calls to get rid of the police)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: muppetry

      "The terrorists have long since won - precious liberties & privacy lost, creates a climate where authoritarianism thrives by means of a few, small attacks. (less lives lost than (some say often a bit dubious deaths) in police custody, but don't hear many calls to get rid of the police)"

      <tinfoil hat>

      Considering how many "terrorists" come from places where so-called "safe" democracies have barged in and caused mayhem with little to no planning for later stabilisation, it almost make you wonder if there's a plan to create a terrorist pool so those "safe" democratic governments can grab more power for themselves.

      </tinfoil hat>

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    "seen by UK courts as overkill, especially where public security is an issue"

    Which suggest UK Judges need to understand just how much information is being continually trawled up with no actual sense of due process.

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