back to article Hoon: Not building überdatabase would be terrorist licence to kill

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon said last night that if the government is not able to harvest details of all internet communications, society will have granted terrorists a licence to kill. Appearing on BBC One's Question Time*, the journeyman minister was asked by Liberal Democrat MP and fellow panellist Julia Goldsworthy how …


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  1. Dave



  2. dreadful scathe


    so when we are living in a virtual prison camp with our every move watched and recorded - it will all be worth it because our civil liberty of "not being killed" is being protected. Its the only way to foster a happy nation where all terrorism will completely dissapear ! (probably overnight if they restrict us enough)

  3. TimNevins
    Thumb Down

    Future changes planned....

    Tired of physical spousal abuse or child abuse?

    Fed up of neighbors leaving kids under the age of 14 home alone?

    Do not fret. The goverment plans to install cameras in every household to prevent this.

    if you do not support this measure it means you support wife battering and kid neglect.

    I posted this a few years ago as a spoof only to find out the goverment has already introduced last year for battered spouses returning to home.

  4. John Imrie
    Black Helicopters

    The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist

    Er, not really.

    The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a cop,

  5. Alan Fisher


    what can one say to this except that it pretty much confirms the worst fears voiced on El Reg?

    It's what we've been saying all along, they'll take away our rights to 'protect' us....i'd laugh if it weren't so scary!

    Time for the Guy Fawkes mask icon, I think

  6. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Government + IT Security = Joke

    Sorry Mr Hoon, but just 'cos you understand the concept of an inbox and your browser history, this is many, many times the order of magnitude more complex. The government have proved time and again, they simply cannot be trusted to look after our data and not leave it open to abuse.

    For flips sake, some local council setup CCTV and 12 months later two operatives were up in court for spying on naked women in their homes. I have lost count of the number of government departments that have let some muppet "borrow" data on a laptop/usb key and then lost the bloody thing on a train or in a cab, leaving kids at risk from pervs and service personnel at risk from terrorists.

    Sorry Hoon, but the first thing the terrorists will do, when this thing goes live is pay some script kiddie to get them access, let's face it if EDS build it the security will be laughable or they will find a way to get someone into a position to extract data from secure terminals.

  7. Dave Ross


    nail in the coffin of civil liberty.

    "hoonatic" we need to get rid of.

    glimpse under the skin of how our politicians really think.

    We have nothing to fear except politicians themselves.

  8. Si

    Totally unworkable?

    I really cannot see how they can even consider spying on all internet communications, the scope is too big to be practicable, and any terrorist with even a modicum of tech savvy will be encrypting his data, sending it via an encrypted connection (possibly with some onion routing) and connecting via someone else's open Wi-Fi network.

    No amount of deep packet scanning will break the encryption, unless GCHQ know back doors to every encryption method out there. So really all this system will do is spy on law abiding citizens while the alleged armies of terrorists out there continue plotting our downfall.

    Labour are really taking the piss now with all this 1984 shit.

  9. Archie Woodnuts
    Thumb Down


    Orwell quote.

    "There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

    I, for one, welcome our insidious overlords.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spineless Jacquifish

    I wish we had a government with a backbone, it seems they are spineless wonders. The smallest threat causes them to throw out civil liberties and they conflate opponents with terrorists, so their judgement is broken. It's also clear from Hoons comments that he wants to monitor more than just the call record and internet connection logs.

    Gutless spineless wonders that are doing the job of the terrorists for them. The aim of terrorists isn't to kill a few people, it's to induce fear. Killing a fraction of the people who die from choking on food does not serve their purpose. If they can induce a panic reaction from a hysterical minister then they achieve their purpose of inducing fear.

    Here the jellyfish in power, at the first threat of attack, they remove basic rights.

    Get a backbone!

  11. Man Outraged

    Freedom vs Security

    Benjamin Franklin:

    Those that would give up essential liberty in pursuit of a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security

    Man Outraged:

    If those in Government who know bugger all about the internet continue down their ill-informed fear-driven path towards totalitarianism soon enough I won't be able to post this shit without getting arrested.

  12. Geoff Mackenzie

    Biggest civil liberty of all

    my arse. More people are killed in the UK by bees than terrorists.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MI5 spies on opponents of Gordon Brown

    The French Secret Service has been caught spying on politicians and trying to influence elections by leaking bad information to the press. President Sarkozy is suing the former head of the Secret Service over the scandal:

    This is no different from MI5 spying on opponents of Gordon Brown to try to keep him in power. It the exact same thing that will inevitably happen if we remove the checks and balances on the security services. They will keep the person who gives them most power in Number 10.

    There are no superheroes, there are no perfect people, we put checks and balances at every stage of everything because people are imperfect.

    Jacqui Smith thinks that we're all potential terrorists and therefore should be monitored without specific suspicion. I think the man doing the monitoring may be the terrorist, who ensures his cronies stay in power.

    This is what the French example shows, a security service out of control trying to subvert the democracy.


  14. Master Baker
    Thumb Up


    Hoon reminds me of an opening-line from one of Rammsteins tracks :

    "Ein kliner minge.... slurp..."

    Anyway, I presume that the terrorist database will be used to track only muslims anyway. How many are there in the UK at the moment? 2 million? 3? So it won't be too big after all.

  15. Charlie
    Paris Hilton

    What a load of arse

    It's almost complete bullsh1t to say that the biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist.

    What about free speech, privacy, right to assemble, right to worship, peacful protest, voting, trial by jury, etc?

    Hoon is a complete goon who seems to be vindicating all the notions that power crazed governments almost cannot be stopped once they get started on the tools of control bandwagon.

    For the most part, good old-fashioned police/intelligence work busts these terror conspiracies. Tipoffs, tailing, eavesdropping and so forth. Once they are nicked their laptops and mobile phones generally give up all the evidence of who they have been in contact with. Very few of these guys are 'professional' terrorists and don't have the field craft or concentration to cover their tracks.

    Given the use of anti terror law to freeze Icelandic bank assets there is no doubt that this mega database will eventually be put to use against benefit fraud and parking fines.

    Remember, authority figures never admit errors and if you aren't for them then you must be against them!

    Paris because I think I'd be happier living there.

  16. Tom

    Not good enough.

    Why is Hoon not advocating saving our lives by photocopying all of our snail mail too?

    I won't feel safe until that happens.

  17. Adrian Jooste
    Black Helicopters

    We are so boned...

    Finally we get a little insite into the minds of these loons. Can you imagine the stuff they talking about and considering implementing behind closed doors? I think we would all use our fight or flight instinct. Unfortunately I see most of society embracing the former whilst clutching the latest celebrity gossip magazine and an apple product.

    Can someone tell me why Madonna and her bullshit is on the front page of most papers and this is hardly reported, if it is at all?

    They have so much control over us already it's scary.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Not much of a choice, is it?

    Being killed by a terrorist or having to listen to Wacky Jaqui and Hoonearthlistenstothisgit pontificating.

    I mean, if it was quick with a big bomb there's no contest, but if it involved being bludgeoned repeatedly around the neck with a machete for the cameras I'd have to think a bit about this one.

  19. Christian Cook

    Civil Liberty order of preference

    "The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist," the minister concluded, finger wagging.

    He's got that slightly wrong. The biggest civil liberty is not being chastised by a confused wildebeeste. Then it's not being cavity searched by ant eaters. Then it's not being crushed by a falling Welsh caravan. Then it's not smelling of bricks. And then it is not being killed by terrorists, closely followed by not being molested by a long reach stapler.

  20. Nomen Publicus
    Thumb Down

    Hoon a Dr Seuss character?

    "The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist," the minister concluded"

    B*ll*cks, one is more likely to be killed by an asteroid hit than by a terrorist (look it up, the maths proves it!) If the number of deaths prevented is the most important aspect, why isn't the £12 billion being spend on road safety?

    When, in order to detect a vanishingly small number of terrorists, the entire population must be monitored, the government is doing it WRONG. That £12 billion should be spend on proper policing and security, not wasted on some IT boondoggle.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    "quite a long way, actually."

    Not as far as not funding such people in the first place though hey tinkerbell.

    Quite frankly I just dont believe a damn thing they say they are doing/using in the name of fighting terrorists, because just about everything they have come up with has been used to lock up and/or quiet normal law abiding citizens.

    *\. Cleaning my coat, because even a small clip from foxnews makes me feel dirty.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Question Time Extra

    If you thought Hoon was bad, check out the two fucktards on Question Time extra.

    They trotted out every brain dead cliché that you could possibly imagine.

    Time: 13:30 onwards

    I can't believe that people this stupid are allowed to roam free without supervision.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Which do I do?

    Emigrate or join the resistance?

    I keep seeing paralells with somewhere in Europe 75 years ago. A very few people there fought it but most people joined in happily.

    Mine's the one with the yellow star on the pocket...

  24. Alan Fisher

    The IRA

    were, statistically speaking, a much bigger threat to the UK than AL-Madeup ever have been yet we still had <i>some</i> civil liberties under Thatcher.....why such a big kerfuffle now?? We're used to terrorism in this country and dealt quite well with it in the 80's and early 90's.....

    yet none of this stuff would have happened back then....

  25. Simon Young
    Thumb Down


    I am leaving the country soon. What's the point of having a database to fight terrorists if Osama Bin Laden is not on it but I am! Cheerio

  26. Shagrat


    My god, does Jacqui Smith not know this?

    We need to get cameras setup in every beehive to find out which of the bees are the terrorist threat so we can stop these poison based assasinations before they get out of hand.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wrong answer

    This just proves how disconnected from the reality the people in the govenrment are. Me, personally, I would rather risk getting blown up by a terrorist than being constantly spied on.

    I think that where we err is that we shouldn't try to eliminate risk at any cost. Instead, we should focus on minimising risk as much as possible while being careful not to lose our way of life. If we keep going down this road, then you can consider that the terrorists have already won.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist"...

    Saw this last night and just thought "Hoon, you really are a tosser". I'm ashamed that these people are in government. In 2010 I'll be voting SNP with a clear conscience - it's worth the financial risk.

  29. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    What Utter...

    utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter BULLSHIT!

    NuLabour have completely outdone themselves this time.

    Move over Jaqui, there's a new nutter on the block.

    Whacky Jaqui, meet Hoon the Loon!

    All your freedoms, privacies, data and communications are belong to us!

    Papers Please, Citizen.

  30. Mo

    So, what's next?

    Terrorism is the current hot potato killer issue.

    What's next?

    How ridiculous does it get before people start to say “actually, hold on… this is entirely disproportionate?” I know it IS disproportionate now, but it's still an (admittedly vocal) minority actually saying as much. Perhaps everybody should be monitored to ensure that errant pedestrians can't stray onto a busy road and get themselves knocked down? Perhaps police officers should be stationed at the doors to every local pub to ensure that drink driving doesn't occur? Perhaps all kitchen knives should be licensed to qualified “home chefs” to ensure that knife crime is kept to a minimum?

    Sorry, Mr Hoon; you were an idiot in defence, and you're still an idiot now. The biggest civil liberty of all is to live without repression, either from terrorists OR from the Government. At the end of the day, if you can't have that, it doesn't matter who's doing the repressing, as many other governments of dubious repute across the world have demonstrated.

  31. Christian Cook

    And another thing...

    If he wants to start throwing calm debate to the wind and get all emotive then how's about this...

    In the two World Wars, millions of people gave up their lives to save our freedom and civil liberties. Now this government are giving up our freedom and civil liberties due to the misguided belief it might save a few people here and there.

    They are spitting on the graves of everyone who gave their life to defend democratic freedom.

  32. rickee


    Ah time to send out those Guy Fawkes me thinks

  33. Paul Murphy
    Thumb Down

    A(nother) quote

    Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

    from Hermann Goering (

    Just in case you might think that this will never happen here.


  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    He's completely out of touch with reality

    I'm more likely to die crossing the road than by terrorist action.

    The aim of terrorism is to create a climate of fear, but why bother - our glorious leaders are doing it for them, whilst running around screaming "The sky is falling in!"

    Geoff and Jacqui, it's people like you who are going to force me to not vote Labour for the first time in my life. You really need to step back and look at yourselves from an outside perspective. Perhaps then you will realise just how stupid and dangerous you look to the rest of us...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I thought Hoon looked embarassed when he said this. He is a minister and can either tow the party line or lose his job. He thought of an argument went with it and then looked like a twat and I think he knows it.

  36. Mark

    Kick up the arse is what they need

    From the BBC summary:

    Geoff Hoon says he is prepared to go "quite a long way" with civil liberties to "stop terrorists killing people".

    Fine HE can go a long way with HIS civil liberties.

    Stop spending mine.

  37. Jamie

    Banging on my drum again

    I have always stated that the only good and honest politician is dead. they are not too be trusted, and will do anything to protect themselves while selling everyone else up the river.

    You will protect my life from terrorist by taking away all my rights which is all the terrorist want to do, thus letting them win anyway.

    Too bad Guy Fawkes did not succeed.

    Only thing scarier than a terrorist is the nutjobs currently in Westmister.

  38. Nigel Wright

    The behaviour of this government...

    ...scares me more than terrorists do,

    - Wanton wasting of taxpayers money on IT schemes that inevitably fail.

    - Careless losses of our personal data on a weekly basis.

    - Waging wars against sovereign nations

    - Deporting citizens to face American military courts.

    - Condoning the detention of foregin nationals and our own citizens in military prison camps without trial or charge.

    - Allowing black/secret flights into and out of the country carrying prisoners abducted by the CIA from foreign nations (yes I have seen the unmarked aircraft at Prestwick tucked away in a corner)

    - Proliferation of CCTVs in urban environments without any public consultation exercise.

    - Proliferation of road "safety" cameras and automatic number plate recognition without any public consultation exercise.

    ....and on it goes.

    This government threatens my liberty, my freedom of movement, my right to free speech in public places and my right to privacy.

    This makes Erik Honeker and the former DDR look like a school playground in comparison.

  39. Andy

    It's not the terrorists they'll be monitoring

    It's you and me.

    Because as soon as this goes live, all the tech-savvy terrorists will be communicating via twitter.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    news flash

    Life is worth losing to maintain freedom.

    We lost millions to get here and now we're gonna sh1t it all away.

    Of course the government wants it that way, the people have way too many f---ing rights, I mean damn we could strike, we can talk to people in other countries, we can insult them, we can spread s--t about them, we can be mean, nasty and anti-social.

    And the thing is, people are dumb. They are, they're just f---ing stupid. People can get convinced that there's an invisible man in the sky. They think they have rights. Of course they only have rights until someone else decides to take them away, and s--t the government can just whip away your rights any time they like, they barely need reasons beyond "s--- we need a new scapgoat, whose it gonna be today, we already killed all the brown people, s--t I guess we'll need to kill the yellow basterds now instead."

    Ahhh f--- it we don't really have any rights, never have never will, the only choice we have is when to die, and lets face it they want to make learning about topping yourself illegal too as apparently only the invisible man in the sky has choice over that.

    Ho hum.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Somebody must have voted for him....

    Once again 'Buff' Hoon proves that in politics being a tw@ is not a barrier to success.

  42. Craig Roberts

    I agree..

    Can we have a Guy Fawkes / V icon please...? :)

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @Master Baker

    The line in question is actually "Ein kleiner Mensch stirbt nur zum Schein", or "A little man just pretends to die". Still appropriate, but perhaps not in the way you meant.

    Flames, but just 'cause it's angry music.

  44. Nic Brough

    Hoon Loon?

    I watched it last night. I scared the crap out of the cat yelling "liar" at the screen.

    His answers about how it was going to work were either the result of an appallingly inaccurate technical briefing, or he was knowingly lying to us. Even when the other panellists diplomatically (and accurately) told him he was wrong, he wouldn't give in.

    Either way, he's not fit to have any more political power than my cat (she used to like watching the BBC reports on Humphrey and Socks, but that's about it)

  45. TMS9900

    Welcome to the pleasure dome...

    I propose we rename our country to something more fitting, more appropriate. United Kingdom seems so... 20th Century.

    I know, I've got it: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    Got a nice ring to it, don't you think?

  46. Ash
    Thumb Up


    I think you mean "Ein kleiner Mensch ...stirbt (nur zum Schein)" (A small person pretends to die) from "Spieluhr" (Music box)

    Maybe this is the only way to escape the system? Fake your own death?

    Well done for being insightful and ignorrant at the same time!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No change there then..

    Glad to see that TCH (That C*** Hoon - the moniker he earned as secretary of state for defense) is speaking true to form. He still needs a damn good beating with a cluebat.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Buff Hoon strikes again.

    The day I take anything old 'Buff' Hoon says as gospel is the day they come to take me to the funny farm. He was a crap minister and is a crap MP in one of the crappiest governments in the long and crap history of the dis-United King-dumm of Greater Crappier.

    Orf with his head!

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. We need a revolution do do away with the lot of them politico classes. The bloodier and merciless the better.

    AC cos the metropolitan death squads still have lots of ammo left after Cressida Dik's Brazillian Wack.

  49. Dunstan Vavasour

    Freedom or Power over Circumstances

    This is the worst form of sophistry, and gets right up my nose - the use of "Freedom" when you mean "Power over Circumstances".

    We hear it all the time: Freedom from poverty etc., but describing "not being blown up" as a civil liberty plumbs new depths of disingenuousness. You might as well ban motor vehicles and claim you are enhancing the civil liberty of not being mown down by a juggernaut.

    Are these people wicked liars, using fear of terrorism as a premise for systematic repression, or dangerous fools who believe what they're saying?

  50. Mike Banahan


    "Given the use of anti terror law to freeze Icelandic bank assets there is no doubt that this mega database will eventually be put to use against benefit fraud and parking fines"

    Charlie mate - that's why they are doing it in the first place. It's nothing to do with terrorism it's to do with tax collection, benefit fraud, money laundering (in distant 3rd place) and then anything else they can do to stop us doing what they don't like.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Nice to here dat from a war crminal

    I used to live in a "non-combatant" country downwind from Serbia after he (and his other Nato counterparts) bombed it into a stone age.

    It was a wonderful autumn - all trees on western facing slopes (including conifers) shed their leaves 2 months early. Not surprising - he declared serbs electronics plants, CHEMICAL plants, REFINERIES and _LEAD_ processing factories as military targets. And all that shit went in the air and on top of innocent people outside the combat zone.

    So, frankly, it is very nice to hear lessons on terror and freedom from one of the biggest terrorists in Europe - one of those who ordered this and and was the ultimate authority when assigning and authorising targets that lead to chemical pollution killing thousands of people in downwind countries from Serbia for years to come.

    Unfortunately, it is the winners who write history and it looks like he will join Mr Harris and Mr Curtis Le May in escaping being hanged in public for the sole reason of being a "winner".

    By the way, if a terrorist blows him up personally, our sole regrets should be that he did not die a sufficiently horrible death. The death he sentenced so many people to.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligitory V for Vendetta Quote

    Sutler: My fellow Englishmen: tonight our country, that which we stand for, and all we hold dear, faces a grave and terrible threat. This violent and unparalleled assault on our security will not go undefended... or unpunished. Our enemy is an insidious one, seeking to divide us and destroy the very foundation of our great nation. Tonight, we must remain steadfast. We must remain determined. But most of all, we must remain united. Those caught tonight in violation of curfew will be considered in league with our enemy and prosecuted as a terrorist without leniency or exception. Tonight, I give you my most solemn vow: that justice will be swift, it will be righteous, and it will be without mercy."

  53. Chris
    Gates Horns

    The terrorists have won

    Their primary aims are to create havoc and fear.

    And what with this government bleating on about terrorism like the Spanish Inquisition the terrorists don't even need to step onto these shores again!

  54. Steve

    He hasn't a clue

    In the 30-odd years of the most recent N Irish troubles there were still more people killed in traffic accidents than by terrorists. If we'd applied Hoon's logic then we all have had our driving licenses confiscated because it's safer to walk... what a tw@t.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Write to

    your MP.

    do it today and make sure they know that you think Hoon is a Goon and Jackie is Whacky.

    Horror and outrage here mean *nothing*. For certain. Horror and outrage expressed eloquently to your MP *might* mean something.

  56. Sillyfellow

    remember irobot?

    ..makes me recall the basic plot of irobot...

    where the idea was that "a relatively few casualties/deaths" were an acceptable cost of physically preventing anyone from 'doing any harm'....

    think about this: WHAT IS FREEDOM ??

    .. it's definately not 'the right to not be killed'.. that is just total nonsense.

    these 'governing overlords' ARE the very terrorists they are pretending are someone else (foreign).

    likley government 'secret' internal meeting:

    GVT1: how we gonna remove the commoner sheeple's rights and get more control over them, so we can take and do whatever we want?

    GVT2: easy. fear=control.. so how we gonna go that then?

    GVT1: well, we have the all-powerful and unquestionable media, so let's blow a few things up, and then blame any-old terrorists..

    GVT2: yeah, i see it now... GREAT plan. we can use the media to 'prove unquestionably' these 'attacks'... then people will be afraid.. very afraid. especially when we constantly remind them they are in mortal danger without our 'essential protection mechanisms'....

    GVT1: yes. just brilliant. the public are far too stupid to realize what is really going on, and the few who might oppose, can be 'dealt with' appropriately.. especially when we have our hands on *all* their particulars.. we will be able to 'prove' whatever we want if we manipulate/or modify the data to suit our purposes..

    GVT1 & GVT2: heeeee heeeeee haaaaaa haaaaaa...; mwaaaaaa haaaaaa haaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    so, who exactly is this great overlord? hooooon the loooooon?

    please tell me cause i would like a word with them!

    ... zzzzzzzttttt bzzzzztttttt (the sound of taser music).. say such things would you???... zzzzzzzttttt bzzzzztttttt..

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Douglas Adams was right

    It's time to haul out the words of The Wise One for some fresh air again. Just substitute "govtard" for "newsreader"

    "Newsreaders still feel it is worth a special and rather worrying mention if, for instance, a crime was planned by people 'over the Internet.' They don't bother to mention when criminals use the telephone or the M4, or discuss their dastardly plans 'over a cup of tea,' though each of these was new and controversial in their day."

  58. UKLooney

    YouTube Video Here

  59. alphaxion

    @alan fisher

    No, the time for humourous icons has passed.

    It's time we, the citizens, began standing up for ourselves and letting it be known that we will not take this crap.

    We need people out protesting and educating those entranced by the hypnotic distractions of britneys latest underwear.

    We have a tool for MASSIVE communication that is under seige (t'internet) and yet we sit here and bitch without doing anything.

    Fuck this shit, I've had enough and I'm gonna start a campaign of educating the retards of this country as to what is being taken away under the guise of securing us from something as likely as madonna discovering a higgs boson.

    Nothing will change unless we take action against this destruction of everything we hold dear.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Kelled, ehh?

    Love this bit: "The biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist"

    How about we stick everyone in protective custody then?

    I hear gitmo has some openings!

  61. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Bees?

    Bees will no longer stand for this Western oppression. BEES WILL RISE.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mao said that

    revolutionaries (who may have some technical distinction from terrorists but probably none in current media briefings) swim in the population as fish swim in the sea.

    Damaging civil liberties makes the sea of our population less hostile to criminals swimming in it.

    The more surveillance there is of the average person, who occasionally would prefer not to be watched by unseen officials doing whatever they choose, the less remarkable they will feel lurking and slinking by others is and the less likely to assist the watchers in defeating it.

    Without any specific intention or deliberate action the effectiveness of public cooperation with the State will be reduced by these developments.

    Meanwhile in other countries governments including religious elements are not unknown. How far does imagination have to stretch to see a government using surveillance introduced in these days in order to ensure that their subjects behave only as the gods have instructed the prime minister they should?

  63. Anonymous Coward

    The death throes..

    of a government desperately clutching at the last remnants of any credibility they may have had trying to convince us they have the answer to threats only they can perceive in order to stay in power. Only they can protect us from the big bad terrorists under the bed. If only someone could protect us from them. Then there is the big bad joke that is Geoff Hoon MP for the planet Zog.

    Smile everyone you're on Not So Candid Camera. Don't worry you'll be able to buy a pirated copy of all your life from any boot sale , or indeed a second hand laptop, there seem to be plenty up for grabs.

    The coat ? Oh thats the last labour government EVER leaving the building.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My father's an apiarist. Should I report him to the thought police?

  65. Bob Ginger

    Road Deaths etc...

    I continue to watch the seemingly never-ending intrusions into our private lives and our freedoms with slack jawed disbelief. Seriously, someone needs to ask Hoon if there are any measures he WOULDN'T consider, if they could prevent the death of just one child, er,sorry, UK citizen...

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, my main point is that very many people in very many discussions invoke the numbers of deaths on the roads, doing DIY, being thrown from horses etc as an illustration of the disproportionate fear of terrorist attacks.

    What these folk fail to take into account ispeople's reactions to different kinds of risk. I urge abyone of an enquiring mind to read Prof. John Adams' excellent essay "What Kills You Matters" at the Social Affairs Unit:

    It is not, by any means, an apologia for the current government paranoia and frenzied lawmaking, but it may go some way towards explaining the factors that influence or distort peoples perceptions regarding the terrorist threat.

    PS. John Adams is is emeritus professor of geography at University College London. He's undertaken a great deal of work in the field of "risk" generally, often with surprising and counterintuitive findings. He writes in a pithy, straightforward manner and a lot of it is very entertaining. Have look if you're interested:

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh come on mate; although I agee with you completely; how likely is it that the majority of the sheep are going to lift their heads from the trough and actually take a look around?? Those of us who care enough to actually, really and truly do something are such a tiny minority that we'd be fingered and locked up as a terrorist and no-one would bat an eyelid.

    The time is not yet. Keep the popular saying in mind about unity and standing.

    Either small groups can show active resistence, be picked off one by one and used as urther ammuntion/justification by these fools or people can be made to realise and then, and only then can revolution happen....not before

    The wise know when to keep their heads down and listen.....never letting anyone see what's going on behind the eyes.

    People will realise the govt's true agenda soon enough

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lets face it,

    Germany thought Hitler and the Nazi party were great until they lost.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It makes one wonder how the IRA managed without the WWW

    Just think, if such a database had existed years ago we'd have been able to prevent the Vikings from terrorising us and we'd be talking French. Oh, hang on, telecommunications hadn't been invented then which all things considered was bit of luck, who'd want to be French.

    Let's try a better example, Hitler. There you see, a clear case where snooping on all UK citizens prevented us from being overrun by Germans. Oh, hang on, a little voice has just said we intercepted the enemies communications. What a novel idea, spying on a specific threat, I think I'll tell Jaqui, no it's too obvious she's probably thought osfthat and discarded it already..

    On a lighter note, I recall reading a short while ago that the word podslurping has gained sufficient usage to be considered for entry to the OED. I suggest we need a more substantial variant of this as a definition for what UK Gov Plc plan to do. Maybe, "dropyoupantsbendoverandpreparefortherubbergloveslurping" or perchance, something a little more succinct, jacquislurping?

    Oh, and references to them needing a kick up the arse are quite inappropriate, a red hot poker would be more fitting and in a short time they would be both literally and metaphorically full of shit.

  69. gaz

    keith olbermann said it best

    keith olbermann said it best:

    "You sir [bush] use the term freedom as if it where an ironic marketing slogan"

    @Dunstan Vavasour:

    "Are these people wicked liars, using fear of terrorism as a premise for systematic repression, or dangerous fools who believe what they're saying?"

    Good question.

    I would say that it all comes down to UK and USA military industrial complex.

    They are creating technologies of oppression to fuel our economy, for our own good.

    So they are wicked liars and dangerous fools.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower:

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

    And has been with us for some time.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Surviving this lot


    Survived 2 world wars


    Survived World War 2


    Survived IRA

    All without HM Gov's various databases.

    I'm pretty sure I can survive "Al-most credible" with out being monitored, prodded and poked by Wacky Jacky and the Hoon dog.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wacky Jacqui and Hoon the Loon

    Couldn't we just give the pair of them a pile of each other's personal data to mine? That would keep them both happy ,and the rest of us safe from their retarded concept of 'civil liberties'.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for stupid people to do something"

  72. Dave


    If it's my civil liberty not to be killed by a terrorist, how about the one where I'm not killed by a motor vehicle? Perhaps we need to ban all motor vehicles. Oh, and there's a finite chance I could be killed by a house fire, so ban all houses.

    How many people are killed or injured each year on the roads compared to terrorist activities? I think Hoon needs to get a bit of perspective here, I'd rather take my chances with the terrorists and not have his precious database because I know which one is more likely to screw up my life.

  73. Luther Blissett


    Use the media-infotainment complex against the military-industrial complex - forensically, subversively, and entirely legally, as shown by previous generations of Luther Blissets.

  74. Sceptical Bastard

    A well-reasoned analysis...

    ... would normally be my aim here in El Reg comments.

    But as I'm so sick of the scum who 'govern' us, I'll simply say that - like most of his colleagues - Geoff Hoon is a complete fucking wanker with a brain set to 'kneejerk'. Worse: he's a bloody lawyer.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    He certainly lives up to his name “buffoon”

  76. RW
    Thumb Down

    Some insight into Jacqui-Hoonistic thought

    Watching the evolution of the UK into a Big Brother society poses some interesting puzzles for those of us lucky enough to be outside the grip of Our Jacqui (Your Jacqui, fortunately!)

    Today's cheap substitute for analysis considers the question of the thought processes that lead to the kind of nonsense spouted by Mr. Hoon.

    I've concluded that Ms. Smith (and, evidently, some of her partners in crime) have minds that are extremely shallow, yet highly retentive. As a result, in early adulthood, these minds were filled up by a thin layer of first-wave memes that cannot be removed now by any known means, short perhaps of physical torture or a large bribe. Ms. Smith's quota of memic nonsense included some goofy feminist ideas related to Andrea Dworkin's immortal tag line "all intercourse is rape."

    Mr. Hoon's include "the highest value of life itself is being alive."

    WRT to Mr. Hoon, he forgets history in his state of memic mesmerization: there are lots of people throughout history who felt it was worth sacrificing their lives in the cause of freedom. Neither mankind, both current and historical, nor the UK electorate agree with his ludicrous nonsense.

    Is there no way to force these assholes out of office and begin purging the bureaucratic ranks of NuLabour pawns? Or is it simply too late?

  77. Jimmy

    Watching you, watching me.

    It really is time politicians abandoned this idea that blanket surveillance can prevent people from being killed. It isn't true, and it simply doesn't work.

    UK motorists are probably the most intensively monitored segment of the population thanks to the widespread deployment of CCTV and ANPR technology. Additional monitoring is provided by the presence of mobile road traffic police.with air support. Almost certainly the security services have access to these facilities for the purpose of targeted surveillance of suspects. On balance the benefits of this monitoring regime probably outweigh the unease of those who are being watched. Obviously, others like speed merchants, tax dodgers, joy-riders and car thieves may disagree.

    Despite all this watchfulness 2,940 people were killed in road traffic accidents on the UK road network last year. How many people were killed by terrorists last year? And, more importantly, how many will be prevented from killing by us surrendering our right to privacy?

    The problem for angry and humiliated politicians like Hoon and Smith is that they cannot reveal their real agenda. It will never be enough for them to know who we are, where we are, and who we are in communication with. What they really need to know is what we are saying and thinking so that they can provide security against what they perceive to be a threat.

    On balance I prefer to stick to the statistical evidence and take my chances with the Jihadis.

  78. Anonymous Coward

    The time has come ...

    To start throwing things at these fuckwits.

    Big things.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop the Uberdatabase Petition.

    Just to tell everyone to head over to and sign the petition against this evil act.

  80. Inachu


    WOW the GOVT love to spread fear so they have more control.

    Typical NWO behavior

  81. RW

    @ Norman Andrews

    Quoth NA: "Couldn't we just give the pair of them a pile of each other's personal data to mine? That would keep them both happy ,and the rest of us safe from their retarded concept of 'civil liberties'."

    I guess I have a dirty mind. A pile of each other's soiled underclothing might be more to the point. Hoon could contemplate the metaphysical significance of Jacqui's crotchless red-lace panties embroidered with logic-free feminist slogans, while Our Jacqui could carry out DNA analysis on the skid marks in Hoon's boxers while verifying that he wears proletarian brands of small clothes, not elitist versions.

    Disgusting, both of them, ditto their inane boss Gordon. Likewise all the spineless NuLab MP's who sit on their hands and bite their cheeks instead of following the example of the small boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes".

  82. Stewart Haywood

    Nice holiday destination

    If I were to return to the Uk for a visit, I would not want to be blown up by a terrorist. But I also would not want to be shot by the police as I got on a train (not living in Blighty, I have developed a bit of a tan which could be a problem). I wouldn't want to be thrown inside for a month for taking a photo of Big Ben either. If I got to feeling ill, I wouldn't want to be tazered for being sick and old on a bus. My daughter points out that she, as a US citizen, has a US passport and would not want me arrested for child trafficing if we went anywhere near the Channel Tunnel. I would like to go to the pub but my wife tells me that I am 9135 times more likely to be stabbed outside a pub than blown up by a terrorist.

    I think that I will just stay where I am and let Jacqui Jill and Buff the magic wanker wrap you all up in a blast proof database to protect your rights to a free 28 day full board holiday with a bunch of knife crime experts and including a fee introductory tazering.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    zeitgeist movie?

    Just me or is this the start of :

    Banks Nationalised (Nearly), No EU Referendum, ID Cards, Electronic Interception, Abuse of "terroism" laws (a la Animal rights activists / Iceland), etc. The list is growing by the day.

    Ok, i`ll admit it. I AM a paranoid sorta person, however with every new day these new laws to "protect us" keep cropping up you really do have to start to wonder...

    How long before the USA joins the EU &we all live happily ever after?

    PS. Glad i posted before the news laws are in as no doubt this would be labelled as _Political dissident_ and no doubt subject to the new anti-terrorism laws. Off on a rendition flight we go...

  84. Nicholas Thomas
    Black Helicopters

    I emailed my MP...

    ...did you???

    Anyway, EU directive 2006/24/E says nothing about a central database, it seems to be just the government getting an IT hardon again.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    is there anyone besides me

    Who thinks that a lobotomy or two for dubya, cheney, Hoon, and jacqui would have saved all of us a lot of grief and made the world a happier, safer place? A show of hands...

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @zeitgeist movie?

    ALF can rot in s--t like they deserve. Well, maybe I'll dig up your grand mother and beat up your wife to prove my point.

  87. jake Silver badge


    The cat posted my last offer before I had a chance to read the rest of the comments. Mods can nuke both my post, post both my posts, or ignore one or the other, I'm not picky.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I hope...

    Jaqui Smith's whole family are fingered in a child porn scandal after their browsing habits are leaked to the tabloids after someone in the Security Service leaves their laptop on the tube.

    And any that goes for anyone supporting this idea. I hope it comes back to bite you in the arse!

    Now's the time to start marketing those encrypted proxy services it seems.

  89. Chris Miller

    A lobotomy for 'Buff'?

    Could be a tad tricky, you'd have to locate the brain first.

    "Mr Hoon underwent a successful procedure to remove a small particle of brain that had become lodged between his ears."

  90. Sam

    Simple statement

    Hoon is a Poon.

  91. Thomas Baker

    Sorry if someone's suggested this already...

    As we've got Whacky-Jacqui, can we have Loony Hoons as well?

    I was thinking we need another icon using this picture here:

    And this one as a guide:

    And this font here: ---- Font No. 80 - Looney Tunes

    I'm miserably un-talented with Photoshop can someone do the honours?

    In fact, why not put the whole cabinet in?

    And if it's not done by morning, I'll chop your balls off!

  92. Russell Preece

    Get your comments into your MP here. Somebody accused me in a previous comment section of bleating about it but not doing anything, so I sat down yesterday and wrote a 2100 word analysis of the risks and effectiveness of this proposed database. I have now sent it to my MP, my MEP's (in case it gets that far) and to an Earl concerned with privacy issues.

    I suggest you all do the same. If people want to see what I've written for some guidance, drop me an email or i'll post it on here (not sure if the reg comments will allow 2100 words).

  93. Brian

    Kraft Durch Dummheit (redux)

    Well, well...

    After Braun und Schmidt (the inimitable double act that gave us such lovely hits as "Zwei und Vierzig Tagen", "It's fun to play with the R.I.P.A" etc.), we now have Mr Hun to complete the trio.

    Perhaps a remake of Wilson, Kepple and Betty's "Sand Dance" is in order - maybe they could redo the "Cleopatra's Nighmare" routine as "Britannia's Nigthmare".

    How did we end up in this state, where people who you wouldn't trust to flip a burger properly are Ministers of the Crown?

    Braun, Hun und Schmidt - the Wilson Kepple and Betty for the new millenium.

    I second the motion for the Guy Fawkes image tag.

  94. P. Lee


    Here in Oz, a "Hoon" is a yoof with a penchant for reckless endangerment while in control of a vehicle.

    You have to be afraid otherwise you might spend time examining what the politicians are doing.

    Obligatory youtube search: The Power of Nightmares

    I have a feeling that anyone who reaches the top has made so many compromises to get there that they can't govern ethically.

    Pirates the lot of them. And not the good kind.

  95. Jeremy Wickins Silver badge

    Civil libertarians ...

    ... believe that not being dead is a necessary, but not sufficient, requirement of truly living. Unfortunately, there are a great many people who believe the contrary - that any life is better than being dead. Overcoming that is the problem we face.

  96. mr.K

    Scratch England off the list then...*sigh*

    I have already scratched USA of the list of possible countries to visit from time to time, and there goes England. Quite a pity, I liked you, but there is no way I can go to a country where it is possible to utter such words without immediately having to resign from all official positions. It is the whole point of civil liberties that you are willing to risk quite a lot for it, even lives. The greatest civil liberty isn't to survive, but to live and die free. There have been quite a few regimes letting their subjects live and working quite hard to keep them alive, without exactly been very good at this freedom and democracy thing.

    Isn't the purpose of terror exactly this? Instil fear into a society so that it gets brought down from the inside? So by any reasonable standard uttering such statements is aiding terrorism, and thus you can not say something like that and hold any official position in a free society. It is that simple.

    When you come to your senses over there and start behaving like the great nation you once wore, I'll come visit, meanwhile you are welcome over to Norway. We got really nice fjords, much better than New Zealand. Also we are quite a bit closer.

    When you come to your senses over there and start behaving like the great nation you once wore, I'll come visit, meanwhile you are welcome over to Norway. We got really nice fjords, much better than New Zealand. Also we are quite a bit closer.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's the sort of insanity that you'd expect from "Buff" Hoon.

  98. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down


    Look on the bright side! When all your rights and freedoms are stripped away, you will still have assassination or terrorism left as options.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Hello mother England

    I see people talking about using anonymizing services and thinking they will be safe. They can't tell what you're doing but they will sure as hell be able to tell you're in the network. Don't you think that before long the use of foreign proxies or a darknet like Freenet will immediately make you a person of interest to the security forces if they get a surveillance tool like this and can sniff at packet level?

    With judges instructing juries that the use of encryption is evidence of guilty intent and the law allowing burglary and bugging of suspects how long will it be before anybody running an offshore VPN or a darknet node gets a visit whilst they're out and "backups" taken? Once they have looked at the evidence all they need to do is manufacture a trumped up reason for one of the 70-odd groups of people who are now allowed to enter your home and seize the evidence for real. Either that or they make darknets illegal as they are "used by pedos and terrorists." Instant grounds for a raid. If you're Muslim they tell your neighbours you're a terrorist, if you're white they tell them you're a kiddy fiddler.

    The government know that the game is up and that the people don't trust them any more. They know we're working out they're a bunch of lying ****tards that are beyond redemption. They know the population is getting angrier and they've got to keep it down otherwise there will be direct action against them. This country is going to **** and if it wasn't for one reason I can't leave I would be out of here by Christmas.

  100. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Ben Franklin said it best ...

    If anyone else quotes Ben Franklin I will scream. Not that it's not a corking quote, it's just that it gets wheeled out so very often and so very loftily as to sap it of all its power and meaning.


  101. Peter Gold badge

    @ is there anyone besides me

    Sorry, can't help you. There's a reason I can't feel my legs.

    (thank you, Rowan Atkinson).

  102. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Oops.

    What a healthy attitude to commenting that is, Jake. I have a nice eclair here with your name on it.

  103. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    Can't stretch to that sort of enormocomment, Russell, but I guess I can post an email address for you if you like (and if you are prepared to have maybe a few extra asshats bother you).

  104. Alan Fisher

    Glad I left

    I left the UK a few years ago and I'm glad I did but one of the reasons was this...

    the government was doing things in my name which i did not like (years ago) and I could not simply stand up and be counted alone.

    My one gripe is this; people will complain about these measure and ideas on this page and many more fora like it across the the interweb, they will mutter and make dark comments and so on and so forth. But in the end they will do.,...nada....natch....zilch....neinte...etc etc

    another saying to be thrown out among the many others already here

    "for evil to triumph it is only required that good men [and women] do nothing"

    the time to complain and make comments is almost well and truly over but the time for action is not.....if you do not want this thing to exist, you have to stop it or it will exist. Then you won't be able to complain...then you won't be able to do anything

  105. Anonymous Coward

    I fully support Mr Hoon and our Government their desire to go "quite a long way", and fervently hope that, having done so, they will not return for "quite a long time."

  106. Chris Miller

    According to my OED

    Hune (naut. obs.): a knob at the mast-head (from the Old Norse)

  107. kevin quinn
    Thumb Down


    Isn't there an international element to this? Presumably, in monitoring 'our' comms, won't the UK govt be holding the communications data on those communicating with and doing business in the UK? What are their govts saying about this? Won't the UK gov be violating the right to privacy of foreign nationals as well? I would have thought that any sovereign state would be outraged that the UK is tracking it's citizens' communications. Or are they all at it? Is this just the start of something even bigger?

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Help the spooks!

    > Just to tell everyone to head over to and sign the petition against this evil act.

    And add your E-mail and IP address to the list of people they look up 1st :)

  109. Mark

    What Franklin REALLY said

    "Those who give up a little freedom for temporary security will get a jolly good punch on the bottom from me!"

  110. jake Silver badge

    Re: Oops.

    >What a healthy attitude to commenting that is, Jake.

    Ta. Maybe I've learned something after thirty years online ... But seriously, the cat DID post it ...

    > I have a nice eclair here with your name on it.

    How about a nice triple cream brie instead?

    If you've never tried it, have one of your compadres in the SF office ship you some. If the British Cheese Police allow it, that is ...

This topic is closed for new posts.