Let private enterprise and tech giants become the ‘rule enforcers’ …
You cannot be too suspicious when looking at what our government wants us to talk about, to be upset about and thus to forget about what is really important. We know that government employs a nudge unit to influence our behaviour. We know that these efforts are supported and enhanced by our MSM, using various ways of ‘framing the narrative’. We know that they have a rather selective way of reporting, of determining what we should talk about on a given day. We know that the MSM have become, covertly and more recently overtly, the propaganda tool of the government.
So when I looked at the buffet of ‘news’ presented to us this morning there were two items which astonished me. No, ‘tis not the uproar about English Footie giants joining a ‘European League’, facing expulsion from the Premier League:
“The so-called ‘big six’ in England, comprising Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, formally confirmed that they have joined with six leading clubs in Spain and Italy over a new highly selective and largely closed tournament that would effectively replace the Champions League.” (paywalled link)
The horror! And no, it’s not the threat to the Olympic Games this summer because Japan, we’re told, is facing a fourth wave (link, paywalled). Any other covid ‘news’, from the customary moan about that SA variant threatening those already jabbed (link) or that the wannabe Napoleon might exclude Brits from summer holidays in France while allowing American and Europeans to visit (link) are just yawn-inducing.
I’m not even unduly agitated by the news that scientists in Oxford are looking for jabbed volunteers to take part in research investigating their immune response by re-infecting them with covid – not even when I read that they’ll use a ‘lab-grown version’ of the Wu Flu (link, paywalled).
Given what looks like a total suppression of any research into a treatment of covid as opposed to all research effort being piled on ‘jabs’, why should we worry that scientist are now planning to use jabbees in what is another version of clinical trials – trials which ought to have taken place before these concoctions were given to a population made suitably fearful of the virus? “We” were told that “we” wanted to be safe, so why be concerned about another trial when nearly 60% of Brits have already had the jab.
No, the two items which I think are pointing the way to a dangerous future for our society are Home Office related. Firstly, there’s the news that the Home Secretary, Ms Patel, will take on the tech giant facebook and demand that Zuckerberg not enable end-to-end encryption.The reason? Paedophiles would more easily hide their criminal activities. Here’s the non-paywalled report in the DM – rather hidden towards the bottom of the page – while we read in the paywalled report in the DT that:
“Priti Patel will on Monday accuse Facebook of putting profits before children’s safety, as she says tech giants have a “moral duty” to prevent abuse. The Home Secretary will take the unusual step of singling out Facebook for its “unacceptable” plans to encrypt all messages, which she says will hamper law enforcement agencies’ ability to prevent “abhorrent” online child abuse. She will tell a conference of industry and child protection experts that Facebook and other social media platforms need to start treating children’s online safety as seriously as they do selling In advertising, phones and online games.” (paywalled link)
In their report The Times writes that Ms Patel “has accused Facebook of “blinding” itself to the issue of child abuse on its platforms by adopting new security measures that will make it more difficult to catch paedophiles.” (link, paywalled)
I abhor and do not use Facebook. I also think social media have become too powerful and are already acting outside the laws of Western Societies by suppressing Free Speech, unilaterally censoring users and depriving them of their platforms.
What enrages me is that Ms Patel and indeed the MSM are suddenly finding reasons to demand transparency by using the argument of ‘detecting paedophiles’. Everybody will surely agree that government, the criminal justice system, must do all to find and curtail the despicable machinations of those criminals.
What is remarkable is that they use that particular argument, of detecting paedophiles, for demanding that facebook not install end-to-end encryption. It seems that ‘preventing terrorism’ doesn’t look to be a more weighty reason for that demand. So when The Times in their editorial writes that:
“Law enforcement agencies have repeatedly stressed that end-to-end encryption enables malevolent people to commit crimes, and prevents the retrieval of information that would aid prosecution. They have pressed to be able to have “back-door access” in extreme circumstances to encrypted information.” (link, paywalled)
we can surely ask why the Home Office has been rather dilatory in getting to grips with tech giants.The Times shows involuntarily what this is really about: the handing over of state power over to uncontrolled, faceless employees of tech giants:
“Their civic obligation is to devise ways of safeguarding privacy while ensuring that criminals cannot prosper. If they will not voluntarily devise ways of disrupting illegal activity, then governments collectively must compel them, and cut back the power of their cartel.” (link, paywalled)
Note that, strong words notwithstanding, the responsibility of looking out for criminals is surreptitiously being shuffled off from the state to those private enterprises. This is the same attitude which has Ms Patel’s Border Farce demand that:
“airlines check passengers’ coronavirus paperwork to reduce delays at airports. Border force staff want the Home Office to drop rules requiring them to check 100 per cent of arrivals’ paperwork, including passenger locator forms and proof of a negative virus test.” (link, paywalled)
The Immigration Services Union chief, Ms Lucy Moreton, representing frontline border staff, is being quite specific, demanding:
“Remove the requirement to check 100 per cent of arrivals comply with Covid requirements, inevitably increasing the risk to national Covid security. Or compel carriers to ensure that those they bring into the UK have complied with the UK’s requirements.” (link, paywalled)
Btw, this is also the fault of passengers who may not have ‘complied’ with the covid travelling rules so that the time checking their compliance has risen from 2 -4 minute to 30 or even 40 minutes – the horror.
Here we have the Border Force staff demanding that their responsibility, to check for adherence to government rules, to be shuffled off to private enterprise. This is a dangerous weakening and softening of the power of the state and of policing. We’ve already seen ‘covid marshals’ being employed by superstores.
Under the cloak of covid ‘rules’ the Home Office appears to pave the way to devolve more enforcement of those rules to private entities rather than keep this power strictly for government employees such as border force officers or indeed the police.
Do the mandarins in the Home Office not see that they are weakening the whole concept of Peel’s ‘policing with consent’ when they aim to create private ‘enforcers’ of whatever rules government comes up with? This is a dangerous ‘wedge issue’, using the thin edge of a government wedge to make us accept more and worse restrictions which someone else enforces.
Who could be against fighting paedophiles! However, once “we” accept that this demand is shuffled off to tech giants employees, “we” will surely swallow more restrictions on Free Speech, controlled by faceless facebook ‘moderators’.
Similarly, “we” have already agreed to comply with covid rules and that someone must control compliance, for example supermarket covid ‘marshals’, because the police can’t be everywhere. Why wouldn’t “we” accept that e.g. airline staff will check our medical histories, even enabling them to stop us from travelling whenever new ‘rules’, for example about social compliance, will be created? Covid rules were only the beginning.
It seems Whitehall and especially the mandarins in the Home Office are perfectly happy to pave the way for a softer, Western version of China’s ‘social policies’. After all, why would we strain at such gnats, aimed only at keeping us safe? We’ve already swallowed the camel that are the covid rules, from lockdown to face nappies to mass jabs, haven’t we!