Wednesday, May 04, 2016

My laptop loses access to the internet once again - the Investigatory Powers Tribunal will not even consider our case (WITH UPDATE)

'Independent' court scrutinising MI5 is located inside the Home Office in Westminster, London.

This morning I attended Newham's Volunteers' two-hour induction workshop. When I got home at 2pm, I discovered that my laptop had lost its access to the internet and had therefore been rendered useless. The last time this happened, on 21 April, I had no internet for more than four hours as revealed in my previous blog post, No internet and we are paying British Telecom £55 per month. BT Infinity for the fastest fibre speeds? (WITH UPDATE).

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UPDATE: Nine hours later and we still have no internet on one of three laptops:
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As I stated in my previous blog post, our broadband provider is British Telecom (BT) but I am also mindful of Edward Snowden's revelation that Telecoms, internet providers, encryption and internet security companies are not only cooperating with the US National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) on a daily basis, but they provide them with back doors into supposedly secure software. Below is paragraph 11 of Declan's recent updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in respect of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) who will not even consider our case.



Paragraph 11 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations re the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT)

11. The IPT was created in October 2000 by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and given the power to investigate any complaints against GCHQ, MI5 or MI6, as well as complaints about surveillance operations mounted by the police or any other public bodies. On 5 March 2014 the Guardian reported that the tribunal, which claims to be completely independent of the UK Government, is secretly operating from a base within the Home Office, by which it is funded. The newspaper found that the IPT had investigated about 1,500 complaints, and upheld only 10; five of these concerned members of one family who had all lodged complaints about surveillance by their local council. No complaint against any of the intelligence agencies had ever been upheld. The discovery that the IPT is lodged within a Whitehall department fuelled criticisms of the tribunal that had been levelled by rights groups, lawyers and complainants. The IPT's critics complain that the secrecy is excessive and that its procedures are stacked so heavily in favour of the government and against complainants that it is fundamentally unfair. According to the Guardian, some senior lawyers have described the IPT as "Kafkaesque", while one eminent barrister has dismissed it as "a kangaroo court". The newspaper also reports that as a consequence of the secrecy surrounding the tribunal and the perception that it is unfair, many would-be complainants spurn it.

Related blog post 25 March 2016: Threat to life: Updated complaint to the United Nations

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