Cambridge Ana… Oooh! Squirrel!

Now, I am no great fan of Facebook. I’m pretty sure that the list of things they have done wrong is only going to grow. By the end it will range from the merely dickish to the really quite serious and they do need to answer for the more serious stuff.

Nonetheless, people need to remember that it is not Facebook that is accused of undermining the integrity of elections, and democracy more generally, in multiple nations. In this context at least, Facebook are just some dingbats who were too lazy/stupid to see that they were enabling the real bad guys to do this.

We are in danger of getting distracted here!

People who have knowingly engaged in conspiracies to subvert elections or referenda, whether in their own countries or elsewhere, are among the most dangerous people in the world. We need to see them go to jail for a very long time. We cannot allow them to wriggle out of their responsibilities by diffusing the blame over the internet in general, even if some parts of the internet have been culpably incurious about what their services were actually being used for. Facebook need to sort themselves out but this is not fundamentally about Facebook.

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March 30, 2018. IT, Law, Media, Politics, Rigged Polls, Sensible. Leave a comment.

Shooting people…

Unarmed people…

People who have their hands up trying to surrender…

[Apologies for the sudden change in tone. One minute I am joking about Boris and cabbages and the next I want to discuss the rule of law. In my defence, such changes in tone reflect what goes on in real life. There are some people who’s lives experience a sudden, and fatal, change of tone seemingly for no good reason. It does not seem right to just keep on joking about cabbages like this doesn’t happen.]

I was struck by the similarities between the recent case of Daniel Shaver, shot, with his hands up, by what we are pleased to call a “police officer” while trying, albeit drunkenly, to surrender and the most notorious recent example of…

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December 9, 2017. Law, Sensible. Leave a comment.

The Rule of Law

Something very bad is going on in both the UK and the USA. It is something that cuts off the legitimacy of the state at the knees. It is the first step on the road to Hell and it is this:

Some people are openly agitating that certain bodies of the state should be effectively above the law and immune to prosecution. In the USA it is the police. In the UK it is the army. In other countries the police, military, royalty and even politicians and civil servants already have a substantial degree of official or unofficial immunity.

I shouldn’t have to explain why this is wrong but I will.

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September 25, 2016. Law, Media, Politics, Sensible. 1 comment.

SCO Must Go!

I have absolutely nothing sensible to say about the SCO fiasco. There is absolutely nothing sensible to say about the SCO fiasco. All I would like to say about SCO losing its stupid court case and no longer being able to sue or harass people for using Linux is:

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April 1, 2010. IT, Law, Silly. Leave a comment.

Why You Should Do Jury Service

In the UK, and many other democratic countries, the justice system hinges of the concept of trail by jury. It is not immediately obvious what this has to do with democracy. The answer is that trial by jury is the mechanism whereby the people are accountable to each other rather than to a government appointed judge. The jury provide a safeguard against the possibility of arbitrary or self-serving imprisonment being imposed by the judiciary.

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May 22, 2000. Law, Migrated, Sensible. Leave a comment.