Government accused of 'stealth' e-profiling of citizens

Admin

Administrator
Interesting article and an even more interesting book for the must-read list.

This is exactly what is behind GIRFEC, CfE, ECM and the brainwashing Cult of SHANARRI, all of which, as we all know here, emanate from Blair's egovt, early interference, eugenicist dream that Tony Benn described as "the sort of thing Hitler talked about".

Government accused of 'stealth' e-profiling of citizens

"The EU has spent almost £470bn creating a system that enables it to monitor the impact of citizens within the economy, and allocate public spending budgets according to the credit score a citizen receives in this e-system," Dent claimed.

"The EU believes that technology can create a utopia whereby all the information they have on the population can be cross-referenced to provide in-depth data that helps them make financial decisions in the most logical way. "
... in a world of e-profiling, a woman whose mother had died of breast cancer and was unemployed for 10 years would have difficulty gaining access to expensive drugs or treatments on the future e-controlled National Health Service because her "worth-to-the-economy profile" would be low.

Dent also argued that the EU has released information on this project in such a way as to pass under the radar.
Maybe parents should look long and hard at these 'ChildrenCount' /'Evidence2Coerce' surveys, the data from which will be crunched to determine their children's 'worth' as human beings.

The Scottish Government makes no secret of its Purpose (yes, with a capital P) which is increased sustainable economic growth (i.e. getting the maximum return from every economic unit / citizen). If you see things differently and don't share the Purpose, your access to public 'services' will be compromised or denied.

This article is dated 2010. Just imagine how much further eprofiling has progressed since then thanks to the deliberate dumbing down of citizens and 'professionals' alike. You just have to listen to the likes of Aileen Campbell to want to lose the will to live. Maybe that's the idea? :lol:
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
As a non techie person I felt better informed (allbeit in a simplistic manner) about a lot of things.

Any Techie folks out there able to comment on this?

Dad23??
 

Dad23

Well-known member
Oh, boy! That's quite some homework for me, Sheila. :)

I'll have a read as soon as I get a chance.
 

Dad23

Well-known member
I'm in meetings most of today. Am tied up for the next couple of days as well but shall post a longer reply on the above in due course.

For now, here's a quick opinion on something:

I'm torn on the matter of the EU. I don't approve of much of what they do from the grand Euro monetary experiment to the low level meddling in everybody's lives. But I'll say this of them: They do more than most to protect the data of citizens and pursue and prosecute offenders such as Google. EU data protection laws are some of the most strict in the world (and we in the UK benefit). You don't need to go to China to see worst case examples. India has a national ID scheme with compulsory biometrics. Combine that with widespread corruption and ...you get the picture. The US is notorious, of course. But even Japan, widely considered to have good protection, isn't a patch on the EU (for example, Japan does not protect against data being transferred/processed outside of the country ...which is a loophole like a blackhole).

The author makes good points, but I have a few thoughts on some of them that I'll share later.
 
I think that if you want to reduce the size of Government then you have to leave the EU. That would reduce the requirement for Whitehall to transcribe all the nonsense Directives into nonsense British laws.

However, taken on a case by case basis, some EU Directives are useful. E.g. the Data Protection Directive. However, it is the case that the UK interpreted Data Protection in a more lax way than other EU countries - hence the rise of the Database state. Without the requirement to implement the EU Directive then Whitehall, having a controlling mindset, would introduce something more permissive - but only to the extent that the EU would accept. For if Britain, having left the EU, relaxed it's Data Protection laws too far then the EU could legitimately refuse to do business with us.

Of course, leaving the EU is one thing but opting out of the Convention on Human Rights is quite another. But we could still restrict the requirement to adopt Strasbourg rulings in the UK. Whitehall would love that as they could then do things like keep our DNA for ever.

Personally, I would like to be out of the EU (smaller state) but still be beholden to Strasbourg. But I do think the more important thing is to win the argument against having a large state control our lives.

Irrespective of the civil liberties concerns there is, in fact, no advantage for the state itself in exerting such control. It will create constant friction, frustrate people and, frankly, blunt our competitiveness. It's a fact that we once ran an Empire without a centralised database. We also mobilised the whole country to ward off a German invasion in 1940 and liberated the Continent without a database.

Centralised control will always fall apart. We need to convince the powers that be not to bother in the first place.
 

Dad23

Well-known member
I think that if you want to reduce the size of Government then you have to leave the EU. That would reduce the requirement for Whitehall to transcribe all the nonsense Directives into nonsense British laws.
Leaving the EU would, logically, leave us needing fewer legislators. However, I'm doubtful that would work in practice. All those MEPs and their hanger-ons are party faithfuls and need employment so posts will be found for them even if a new layer of government needs to be created to "fill the gap" left by "what we previously used to leave to the EU to do for us".

We need a mass movement for smaller government first. The US manages with 435 in Congress and 100 in the Senate. We have a tenth of the population of the US and have 650 MPs and 775 in the House of Lords. That's not counting the Welsh and Scot Parliaments and the scores of MEPs.

Irrespective of the civil liberties concerns there is, in fact, no advantage for the state itself in exerting such control. It will create constant friction, frustrate people and, frankly, blunt our competitiveness.
That's obviously not what our lords and masters think.

I believe that Digital Britain and The Information Society aren't the biggest dangers. Governments are notorious for being unable to manage large IT projects, for massive breaches of security when it comes to data etc., but their overall goals are to raise revenue and cater for the welfare of citizens who elect them (though there is the unstated goal of greater power and greater control over us).

Corporations, OTOH, have a different agenda. They are looking to exploit us. They too want to make more money out of us but are happy to do it in very scary ways including by damaging our health, fracturing society, exacerbating social problems, discouraging social mobility - anything that will improve their own firm's bottom line. The big danger is corporations. The biggest danger is corporations working in cahoots with a corrupt or inept/IT ignorant government.

The surveillance society, with CCTV, ANPR and police DNA database of innocents, not to mention GCHQ, is all very obnoxious, but if citizens are voluntarily giving away to Facebook, Apple and Google such significant and sensitive personal data it could be argued that governments are in breach of their duties if they don't seek to collect and collate data and be seen to use that data to reduce expenses, deliver a more cost effective service and keep the nation safe.

In fact, our argument for smaller government is, some would say, not compatible with a smaller data government as effective use of data could reduce the number of people required to govern.

The author argues that we should have more of a say and that "common language" should be used so people can understand the issues and participate in democratic solutions to protect privacy and civil liberties. I fear he gives the general population too much credit for intelligence and common sense.
 
Ah but is there not a distinction to be made between having a smaller Government and having a smaller Parliament?

I agree that leaving the EU might not automatically lead to a smaller Government as the existing secretariat would probably try to mirror what the EU still did in some way. And then there are the existing Directives to be administered.

However, I disagree that we should, in any way, reduce the compliment of MP's and Peers. It would be much more difficult to oversee a large secretariat with less politicians. One of the advantages of, say, the current large size of the House of Lords is that there is a much greater possibility of finding a peer who has some insight into the inner workings of one of the Departments. I had direct experience of this some years ago when I wanted to challenge a clause in an Immigration Bill. I managed to find a Peer who understood exactly what I was concerned about and she tabled an amendment and, albeit unsuccessfully, challenged the offending clause. With a smaller Parliament that would have much more difficult.

The secretariat is now so large that we need the political bods to oversee it on behalf of the public.

I think your point about smaller Government not leading to a smaller data Government is spot on. That's just what is in the offing. Have a look at Sir John Elvidge and the Enabling State. Also, as you rightly point out, this is led by the corporations with their aggressive data gathering software. Have a look at any software package currently in use by local children & families social services and you can readily trace it back to an American corporation. Data has been monetised and Sir John Elvidge's Enabling State is all about gathering data.

So we have a problem do we not? Our argument for smaller, cheaper, Government is responded to with aggressive data gathering exercises. Government says that if we know all about your problems then we can tailor the services to you personally. Just sign over all your sensitive and personal data and let us take care of you!

Over my dead body!
 

Dad23

Well-known member
However, I disagree that we should, in any way, reduce the compliment of MP's and Peers. It would be much more difficult to oversee a large secretariat with less politicians.
I'm not so fussed about the number of MPs per se. The amount we spend on these MPs is, in relative terms, not significant and that's despite the expenses scandal. I could live with 2000 MPs if it somehow translates into a far, far smaller public sector, but I don't agree that we need the current compliment of MPs. The more MPs the more hangers on and the more prone we are to lobbying interests and individual MPs making revolving door pension plans for life after politics. That's done by getting into bed with big business (and it applies to the Tony Blairs and Peter Mandelsons as much as it does to the Tories).

So we have a problem do we not? Our argument for smaller, cheaper, Government is responded to with aggressive data gathering exercises. Government says that if we know all about your problems then we can tailor the services to you personally. Just sign over all your sensitive and personal data and let us take care of you!
We need to change public perception that the government's job is to take care of us. Taking care of someone can't be done properly without getting closely involved in that person's life. Governments should concentrate on core governing - national security, regulation of business etc - and not get involved in anything else, not even education or health care, just like schools should focus on educating and not be surrogate parents (even if it means not toilet training the neglected kid nor giving him a breakfast nor secretly washing and drying his filthy clothes because other children are making fun of him smelling).

The less nannying we require/expect of the government the less need the government has for collecting intimate details of our lives. We need, as a society, to accept that life in not fair. You may have better chance of free NHS IVF in some postcodes or less chance of dying from a stroke in other post codes. Suck it up. (Authorities don't need to analyse and inspect and try to even out performance) Police in some forces are better at solving crimes than other forces. Suck it up. It's a little more difficult to tell the public that some kids have parents who take care of them and some kids don't ...so suck it up, or that some people die of starvation so let them die or be taken care of by charities. But unless we are willing to start accepting some horrible stories in the media without expecting the government to do something we aren't going to encourage people to take more responsibility for their own lives, save for their futures, work to build security for their families. If the government reduces their spending from nearly 50% of GDP to the 10% that governments in the past managed on we'd have fewer people starving and less need for social security anyway. We'd have a better, fairer and more prosperous society than we have now with government doing the redistribution of our wealth.

In Leopold Kohr's The Breakdown of Nations written over half a century ago he predicted exactly what would happen with this unsustainable expansion of the state; he predicted a "crisis of bigness" which we are seeing today in a scary playing out of Kohr's prophecies. The most prosperous nations today are small states such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland. It's not because they have small populations but because they have small government. Our big government has, in addition to messing up society and creating a dependence culture even among the "productive elements" of society, created a debilitating cost structure that has saddled our children and grandchildren with massive debts for the future and a system that's primed to get worse.
 
We need to change public perception that the government's job is to take care of us. Taking care of someone can't be done properly without getting closely involved in that person's life.
Do you support the concept of a citizen's income?

just like schools should focus on educating
I have lost count of the number of parents who hold the view that academics isn't everything and schools should also teach life skills. Plenty of parents home educate in order for their children to learn life skills and social skills because they believe that school is too academic and they won't learn them there. They don't consider the ideology of Michael Gove as a model to follow.

If the government reduces their spending from nearly 50% of GDP to the 10% that governments in the past managed on we'd have fewer people starving and less need for social security anyway. We'd have a better, fairer and more prosperous society than we have now with government doing the redistribution of our wealth.
How much should the government spend on war? I didn't ask for nor want Britain to participate in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In Leopold Kohr's The Breakdown of Nations written over half a century ago he predicted exactly what would happen with this unsustainable expansion of the state; he predicted a "crisis of bigness" which we are seeing today in a scary playing out of Kohr's prophecies. The most prosperous nations today are small states such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland. It's not because they have small populations but because they have small government. Our big government has, in addition to messing up society and creating a dependence culture even among the "productive elements" of society, created a debilitating cost structure that has saddled our children and grandchildren with massive debts for the future and a system that's primed to get worse.
I have read his book but I don't think he has taken into account changes in technology; globalisation of the economy; and the offshoring of jobs to low wage countries that have occured since it was written. Singapore and Hong Kong are very special instances that cannot easily be replicated for a medium sized country like England, especially one that has to deal with legacies of the demise of 'rust bucket' industries. Switzerland has a devolved government and direct democracy which should be implemented in England.
 

Admin

Administrator
Objectifying human existence via data theft and profiling

I have just been revisiting the points made in Ian Dent's Beyond Broadband thesis from 2010 (and the jackboots have marched a great deal further down the totalitarian high road since then).

This is an interesting (five year old) article from Compute Scotland: eScience = biological economic devices?

"if your DNA is on file, and you are a woman whose mother and grandmother died of breast cancer and you have been unemployed for ten years, living on benefits and happen to have friends in sensitive locations in the world to whom you e-mail regularly about disconcerting political issues in the UK . . you will probably have difficulties in gaining access to expensive drugs or treatments on the future e-controlled National Health Service - simply because your ‘worth-to-the-economy’ profile will give you a low - ‘biological-object-score’. In this respect, NHS funding will be ‘pegged’ to the data collected on each citizen," writes writes Dr Ian Dent (above) in his study "Beyond Broadband"

"In addition, if your lifestyle patterns (attributes) - as picked-up through RFID/ economic transactions/patterns of consumption/patterns of travel/GPS ( geotagging) etc - become ‘worked backwards’ (for example to your taxation records), a profile extrapolated by linked Government Grids, then the Inland Revenue will be automatically alerted and then the onus will be on you to justify what you have been doing and where the finance has come from to achieve it. If you have ever fallen foul of errors in Government bureaucracy and all the stress involved in refuting allegations . . you have not seen anything yet . . ."
If you aren't deemed a worthwhile (to the economy) human being, you are automatically an enemy of the state and therefore entirely expendable - the sooner the better.

Nur Arbeit macht frei!

Also, without true, open public debate in common language (and this is the key), agencies such as the ‘Information Commissioner’s Office’ in the UK simply appear to offer solace to the dying man, rather than halting the execution.
The Chocolate Fireguards have all been melting into messy brown piles for years.

"There is also an issue of ‘whose data is it?’. The legacy of Western science is that it is simply assumed that data is ‘out there to be be collected’ - a kind of ‘knowledge colonisation’.

One of the lessons learned in Iceland was that data collected on individuals and communities can often appear as theft if those who are the subjects of that collection remain voiceless in the process and the subsequent use of that data. Complaints are already on the rise in the UK over the storage of personal data, and of mis-information held on official files with the often extreme difficulties in having errors corrected.
“Europe is being colonised by a new ruling elite.. one which has its own specialist language and culture..and its own system of values.

Whilst resourced and funded by everyday citizens of Europe, it nevertheless chooses to partner itself with big business in development of a powerful ICT infrastructure, that unremittingly gathers intelligence in support of the objectives of that alliance.

This power has its own narrow ‘utopian’ vision - one which strengthens an economic and ICT proficient sector of European society, whilst stripping away every form of localised meaning and diversity in its path.

It pursues a policy of socio-economic eugenics, ‘objectifying’ human existence through pursuit of profiling - finally adding each citizen to a list of ‘property’, owned and ‘mobilised’ within a new super, ICT-regionalied economy environment.
 
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