Communications data, North Korea style

KJUmemeOne of the Prime Minister’s closest advisors has warned that the Home Office’s Communications Data plans to monitor email and web use could be “disastrous” and compared it to North Korea.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ben Hammersley, a Number 10 adviser to the Tech City project, the told magazine Tank:

“As a society, it would be stupid to build the infrastructure that could be used to oppress us. It just never works out well, because even if you’re using it for good stuff now, the fact that we don’t know who is going to be in charge in ten years’ time means that we shouldn’t give them free toys to play with.”

This follows remarks he made last year, when Mr Hammersley said the plans were ‘hilarious’ because of their technical naivety:

“The idea that the internet is like the postal service or like the copper line phone network in that it can be monitored in such a way is hilarious, because it can’t be technologically speaking, unless you become North Korea. Unless you become massively draconian you can’t either monitor propery or censor completely the internet.”

We previously highlighted the number of public organisations given access to the data – covering who you email, which websites you browse and the social media messages you send – is inevitably going to increase, with more than 30 already asking for the data before the bill has even been presented to parliament. This ‘function creep’ was also identified by Hammersley, who warned :

“I don’t trust future governments. The successors of the politicians who put this in place might not be trustworthy.



  1. Lee V'meahlone
    19th April 2013

    At last, someone from the real world.

  2. george
    19th April 2013

    we’ve seen councils use anti terrorism laws on ratepayers … the gods help us if this sort of legislation gets passed and its not like the current lot on either side are paragons of virtue!

  3. David Davis
    19th April 2013

    You see…the point about Nazis – all kinds of these leftist beings, whatever they temporaneously call their own groupuscules, they are all “of the left” and in what passes for their hearts they all know this simple fact – is that, if “data” _can be collected_ , then it _must be collected_ . Indeed – the data-collection-act itself is of double-benefit, for it gives something termed “employment” in a sort of giant outdoor-relief-system, to those thousands and thousands and thousands of diseducated goons produced on purpose by the Nazi “education system”.

    At least, in harvesting every data-bit of what is called “product” from the www, there is the major benefit that they will never, in a billion years, have the manpower, time and funds to trawl through it all. It’s as if in 1941-42 we could so deeply and heavily plaster the North Atlantic with filled cargo-ships, that the U-boats wouldn’t be able to see any daylight.

  4. Wally Wright
    20th April 2013

    Greetings from China. Here in Beijing the Internet is heavily censored. Therefore I can’t even read this article let alone comment on it. But if I could comment I’d say “bring it on”. I’ve yet to find any government-led Internet censorship system I couldn’t get around in under twenty minutes. Beating the censor is even more fun than playing Xbox.

    Censoring the Internet does actually have an interesting social function. Since the government – and the people who work for the government – are just plain dumb, dumb, dumb, they don’t understand the Internet. Clever people can get around everything the dummies do one way or another – in China we use “darknets” that the government don’t even know exist and don’t have the technology to find. Censorship by dummies means that other dummies can’t use the Internet while smart people can.
    Great idea in my opinion. But because I’m censored here in China, I’ll never get the chance to express it.

  5. Sean Armstrong
    20th April 2013

    It isn’t just the politicians of the future I distrust. I don’t think much of the past and present lot either.

  6. Martin_Kinsella
    20th April 2013


  7. Jim_Watford
    20th April 2013

    Encrypted overseas VPN, job done.

  8. Thats_news
    20th April 2013

    Great. We are being governed by Kim il Cam.

  9. Gold Bug
    20th April 2013

    “I don’t trust future governments”. Really? I don’t trust any government. Maybe it’s the fact that they can only exist through coercion backed by the threat of kidnap and violence or maybe it’s just that they steal money from the productive to fund the unproductive and to control us as well.
    They are the Mafia with better PR and total control of all the guns.