Here are some notes on the Membership of the Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill
Please lobby these people with your opposition to the Draft Communications Data Bill.
N.B. Just as with the now suppressed Detainee Inquiry (whose second anniversary of doing not very much at all comes up this Friday 6th July 2012) into allegations of complicity in torture, the Intelligence Agencies and the Police and private sector Defence contractors will be intensely interested in identifying potential witnesses and especially potential whistleblowers who might wish to give Evidence to this Committee, so that they can prepare their own positions if and when they are called to give evidence and to nobble any "security risks" within their own ranks.
The Wilson Doctrine only forbids the interception of the telephones, faxes, emails, tweets and SMS text messages of Members of Parliament the House of Commons and of Peers in the House of Lords.
It does allow for the (self authorised) collection of Communications Traffic Data, the very subject of this Bill, about anybody who contacts this Joint Committee to give them a political message or to provide Evidence to them.
If you intend to contact the Committee (which is about to make its formal call for evidence soon) , then please take some precautions, either to protect your own whistleblower anonymity, or as a matter of principle, to demonstrate what a waste of money and a blow to the UK economy, these expensive proposals will be.
Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc.
Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for
Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists,
Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc.
Unlike the faceless bureaucrats and lobbyists who are proposing this Bill, here are some images (from the Parliament.uk website) and some brief opinions of the runners and riders on this Committee, which is supposed to scrutinise this controversial legislation.
Will they be swayed by principled civil liberties or technological arguments ? Or will they cut backroom political deals with the vested interests and lobbyists for more surveillance snooping powers and budgets ?
Rt Hon Nicholas Brown - Labour
Former Minister and New Labour Chief Whip. Gordon Brown's political "enforcer"
Very experienced in secret backroom political wheeling and dealing
It will be astonishing if he champions anything but more snooping powers.
Michael Ellis - Conservative
new MP in 2010
Dr Julian Huppert - Liberal Democrat
new MP in 2010
Academic computational biochemist
So far the lone voice of opposition to the dafter aspects of the Bill, but will he be pressured by the devious former Whips into political compromises ?
Stephen Mosley - Conservative
new MP in 2010
Had a career in IT before becoming an MP, but before the vast increase in internet usage.
"Degree in Chemistry from Nottingham University, Stephen worked for IBM for four years before setting up his own IT Consultancy in 1997."
Craig Whittaker - Conservative
new MP in 2010
Former Retail Manager
David Wright - Labour
Former Labour government and opposition Whip
Junior to Nick Brown, but with an equally untrustworthy voting record.
Lord Armstrong of Ilminster Cross Bench
The actual Whitehall Sir Humprey who coined the phrase "economical with the truth" during the MI5 Spycatcher book publication censorship affair.
Will be perceived to be biased in favour of more snooping by the Intelligence Agencies.
Lord Blencathra - Conservative
David Maclean the former Tory Chief Whip who masterminded the sneaky attempt in the Commons to exclude the the House of Commons (and as an afterthought, the House of Lords) from the Freedom of Information Act, just as the MPs expenses scandal was breaking.
Currently a lobbyist for the government of the Cayman Islands tax haven.
Not a champion of free speech, transparency or liberty.
Apparently he is set to be Chairman of the Joint Committee
Baroness Cohen of Pimlico - Labour
Lord Faulks - Conservative
Lord Jones (N.B. Parliament.uk website URL say Stephen Jones, but points to Barry Jones) - Labour
He is a former MP who has also served on the useless Intelligence and Security Committee from 1994-97 so he cannot be trusted to stand up for the general public's rights and freedoms.
Lord Strasburger - Liberal Democrat
Property developer, businessman, party donor