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This page provides occasional items, linked to the original articles, as we attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing situation on civil liberties.
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FoI request guidance demands “real names”

Posted by James Hammerton @ 4:34 pm on 17 January, 2009.
Categories British politics, accountability, freedom of information.
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UK Liberty reports that new guidance from the Information Commissioner advises organisations to require that a real name be given when making FoI requests:

The use of the phrase “the name of the applicant” in section 8(1)(b) indicates that the real name of the applicant should be used when requesting information and not any other name, for example, a pseudonym.

MPs to vote to keep their expenses secret

Posted by James Hammerton @ 4:17 pm on .
Categories British politics, accountability, freedom of information.
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From The Times:

Details of MPs’ claims for plasma televisions, furniture and cleaning bills will be kept secret after Harriet Harman bowed to backbenchers’ pressure to stop expenses claims being published.

MPs are preparing to pass a new law next week that will exempt them from parts of the Freedom of Information Act, meaning that they will never again be forced to publish receipts for their claims, in defiance of an order by the High Court. This would make MPs the only public sector employees with special privileges to protect them from disclosing their expenses.

At the same time, the Speaker’s committee revealed that it had watered down tough restrictions on what MPs could claim for. A new regime was promised after Derek Conway, a Conservative Member, was found to be abusing the system. The plans for rigorous external audits, however, have been diluted and a ban on buying furniture and electrical items has been scrapped.

MPs will be allowed to continue using public funds to buy “white goods”, electrical equipment, sofas, chairs, tables, decoration, cleaning, insurance and security. Controversially, MPs will also be able to claim additional sums on their mortgage for “refurbishment”, plus £25 for each night spent away from their main home, without receipts.

A document from the committee led by Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, said: “It has been argued that it would be excessively burdensome for Members to have provided receipts for all transactions and that additional costs incurred . . . would be likely disproportionate.”

This is taxpayers’ money they’re spending. Apparently they don’t believe we should know how they’re spending it. It is a disgrace.

Loss of liberties in the US since 9/11

One of the things I’d like to do with this blog is to shift it towards being less UK-centric. This is difficult given the sheer volume of anti-civil liberties legislation being generated in the UK, but occasionally I do get a chance to cover some non-UK material. For example, this website is dedicated to documenting the loss of civil liberties in the USA since 9/11. I’ve not yet read it in detail but it may be of interest to readers wishing to catch up on the US situation and/or compare it to the UK or elsewhere.

Recent articles on the erosion of British liberty

It’s tough keeping up with everything civil liberties related at the moment. I feel one way through the thicket is to do some roundups on the articles that have appeared recently. On that basis, here’s a selection of recent articles on the issues raised by David Davis’s resignation:

  • “This surveillance onslaught is draconian and creepy”. Marina Hyde, writing in the Guardian, highlights the absurd creepiness and extent of state surveillance these days:

    The past few years have thrown up dozens of instances which made one wince to be a citizen of this septic isle, but a personal low came with the discovery that 500,000 bins had been fitted with electronic tracking devices. Transponders in bins … Could any morning news item be more designed to force one back against the pillows, too embarrassed about one’s country to start the day? Yes, as it turned out. A couple of months ago it was discovered that Poole borough council, in Dorset, had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act - designed to track serious criminals and terrorists - to determine whether a school applicant and her parents lived where they said they did. They did, and were appalled to discover they had been spied on for three weeks, the subject of surveillance notes such as “female and three children enter target vehicle and drive off”. Target vehicle, if you please! The thought of some deep-cover council drone jotting this stuff down as though it were an elite Delta Force operation is not as funny as it is horrifying.

    Just who are these people, these swelling legions of unelected, ill-qualified monitors who wield such extraordinary power in our surveillance society? Clarification in one case came last year, when the civilian in charge of a Worcester police station’s surveillance team was suspended after detectives found, among one day’s footage, a 20-minute sequence of close-ups of a woman’s cleavage and backside as she walked oblivious through the streets. Whether the woman ever discovered she was the star of a kind of pervert Truman Show is not recorded. But the offending monitor escaped with a warning and was - unbelievably - back in post within weeks.

  • Bruce Schneier, a security expert, questions the usefulness of pervasive CCTV:

    To some, it’s comforting to imagine vigilant police monitoring every camera, but the truth is very different. Most CCTV footage is never looked at until well after a crime is committed. When it is examined, it’s very common for the viewers not to identify suspects. Lighting is bad and images are grainy, and criminals tend not to stare helpfully at the lens. Cameras break far too often. The best camera systems can still be thwarted by sunglasses or hats. Even when they afford quick identification — think of the 2005 London transport bombers and the 9/11 terrorists — police are often able to identify suspects without the cameras. Cameras afford a false sense of security, encouraging laziness when we need police to be vigilant.

    The solution isn’t for police to watch the cameras. Unlike an officer walking the street, cameras only look in particular directions at particular locations. Criminals know this, and can easily adapt by moving their crimes to someplace not watched by a camera — and there will always be such places. Additionally, while a police officer on the street can respond to a crime in progress, the same officer in front of a CCTV screen can only dispatch another officer to arrive much later. By their very nature, cameras result in underused and misallocated police resources.

  • “A quarter of adults to face anti-paedophile tests”. The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope reporting on the new “Independent Safeguarding Authority” and the requirement or anyone doing voluntary or paid work with children to submit to CRB checks:

    From next year the new Independent Safeguarding Authority will require any adult who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults either through their work or in voluntary groups to be vetted.

    But Prof Furedi’s report, Licensed to Hug, highlighted examples of when adult-child relationships were distorted by the need for CRB checks already being required by schools and other organisations.

    In one example, a woman could not kiss her daughter goodbye on a school trip because she had not been vetted.

    In another, a mother was surprised to be told by another parent that she and her husband were “CRB checked” when their children played together.

    In a third example, a father was given “filthy looks” by a group of mothers when he took his child swimming on his own in “a scene from a Western when the room goes silent and tumbleweed blows across the foreground”.

    Prof Furedi details how one woman was made to feel like a “second class mother” because she was barred from a school disco because she did not have a CRB check.

    Prof Furedi, a sociology professor from Kent University, said that “adults are no longer trusted or expected to engage with children on their own initiative”.

    He said: “When parents feel in need of official reassurance that other parents have passed the paedophile test before they even start on the pleasantries, something has gone badly wrong in our communities.

    “We should question whether there is anything healthy in a response where communities look at children’s own fathers with suspicion, but would balk at helping a lost child find their way home.”

  • David Davis himself, writing for Conservative Home, explains his actions:

    My conduct may seem eccentric in the eyes of some - but my motive is plain and simple. I have deliberately embarked upon an unorthodox course of action to dramatise the damage being done to the country I love, the mother of democracies, by the Government’s cavalier disregard for the liberties we have fought for down the centuries.

    Plans to lock up terrorist suspects for up to 42 days without charge are but the latest in a long line of repressive and intrusive measures visited on this country by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. To take one example, there are now 266 state powers allowing officials to force their way into your home. Six hundred public bodies have the authority to bug phones and emails and intercept the post. And God help you if you put out the wrong kind of rubbish or attempt to get you child into one of the few schools not ruined by a decade of Labour government. Gordon’s neighbourhood spies are watching.

    My hostility to the Government’s bloated and unworkable £19 billion ID card scheme and my dismay at its creation of the largest DNA database on earth stuffed with the details of a million innocent people are well known.

    But this is not how some of Metternich’s latter-day disciples in the parliamentary lobby have generally chosen to report my words and deeds. Some have even called it a “moment of madness”. Well I think it is madness that, when someone takes a principled stance on a matter of vital national interest, it sparks such a bewildered response from certain quarters of the Westminster village. In truth, I thought carefully about my decision to force a by-election on a national issue.

    Fortunately, the Westminster Village does not have a monopoly on political comment and reporting. In marked contrast to some rumour-mongering in the media, the blogosphere rapidly is becoming the real forum of popular debate and it offered a very different take. Frankly, I was surprised and humbled to find that this this site’s survey of Conservatives found that 65 per cent were inspired by my decision.

  • The UK Liberty blog, has excellent coverage of the parliamentary debate over “42 days”, amongst some very revealing exchanges highlighted, there is this one with David Davis on whether there’s any evidence to extend the current 28 day limit:

    There was some very interesting information from David Davis:

    Let us start with Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. In his evidence to Parliament, the commissioner said explicitly:

    “We have never put forward a case that there is evidence of a need for an extension”. ——[Official Report, Counter-Terrorism Public Bill Committee, 22 April 2008; c. 11, Q3.]

    He based his support for 42 days on “a pragmatic inference” based on trends in a number of plots and on those plots’ complexity. In support of that, he and his counter-terrorism chief initially claimed that 15 terrorist plots had been thwarted since the 7/7 bombings. It was on that basis that he presented his evidence to the Bill Committee. But then it transpired that there had been a mistake. The corrected evidence revealed the true picture, which is that between 2003 and 2005, there were nine plots, three a year, and there have been four since the beginning of 2006, two a year. So, the number of plots, far from increasing, has actually decreased over the past three years. That is a good thing, but it is not an argument for extra powers, and although we should not underestimate the threat, we should not overstate it either.

    The third witness was Ken Jones, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, who said that the police, operating under the current 28-day limit were “up against the buffers”. That is the claim being made: not that we might be, but that we are up against the buffers. He based his judgment on the most complex counter-terrorism investigation in our history, Operation Overt, in respect of the alleged plot to blow 10 airliners out of the sky at Heathrow in August 2006. In that case, five people were held for 27 or 28 days. One can see why that superficial analysis leads us to the idea that we are up against the buffers, but it is only a superficial analysis. I asked Mr. Jones yesterday whether he had examined the detailed evidence in Operation Overt. He told me that he had not had the opportunity. I did look at the evidence. Three of the five suspects were held for the maximum period. More than half were innocent.

    To which Frank Field replied, “No, they were found not guilty.”

    Um, that does mean innocent - indeed formally found innocent. Davis took it in his stride:

    Innocent. That demonstrates— [Interruption.] We can reiterate the argument that we had last time. The last time I used “innocent”, Labour Members exploded in uproar at the idea that those people might be innocent, so I told Labour Members that I had asked the police at the time whether they were concerned sufficiently to put those three people under control orders. “No,” they said. I asked whether they were sufficiently concerned to put them under overt or covert surveillance? “No,” they said. I asked whether they were carrying on any further investigations into them? “No,” they said.

    all the evidence on the only two suspects charged after 21 days was in the possession of the police within four and 12 days respectively. I suspect that that is why the Director of Public Prosecutions does not believe that the extension is at all necessary or foresee circumstances in which it will be necessary in future.

    Chris Bryant intervened with the by now well-worn implication that the police will get the huff and sulk if suspects are let go and subsequently blow something up:

    The right hon. Gentleman is basing his whole argument on his assertion that there is no evidence that proves that these powers are necessary. Surely the only evidence that there could possibly be would be a catastrophic failure of the criminal justice system that meant that the police were unable to charge somebody before the end of the 28 days and that person then going on to commit a major atrocity. That is precisely what we are all trying to avoid. [ Interruption. ]

    If they were not subject to surveillance and/or control order we truly have problems - but I have more faith than Chris Bryant.

  • Bruce Schneier again has an article on “The War on Photography”, highlighting how photographers are being subjected to increasing amounts of harassment by the authorities, many of his examples come from Britain:

    What is it with photographers these days? Are they really all terrorists, or does everyone just think they are?

    Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers have been harassed, questioned, detained, arrested or worse, and declared to be unwelcome. We’ve been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones. Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.

    Except that it’s nonsense. The 9/11 terrorists didn’t photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn’t photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn’t photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren’t being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn’t known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about — the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 — no photography.

    Given that real terrorists, and even wannabe terrorists, don’t seem to photograph anything, why is it such pervasive conventional wisdom that terrorists photograph their targets? Why are our fears so great that we have no choice but to be suspicious of any photographer?

    Because it’s a movie-plot threat.

    Note that, in the original, the above paragraphs contain numerous links (too many to copy over easily) substantiating the claims of harassment, questioning, detention etc which are worth following up. E.g. one of the links is to this article in Amateur Photographer. Check out the poster featured in that article, which is used by the Metropolitan police. I suspect this sort of campaign is what lies behinds incidents such as this one in London’s Oxford Street.

It seems clear to me that Britain is becoming an increasingly petty, officious, fearful, paranoid and authoritarian society…

David Davis and the “slow strangulation” of fundamental freedoms

Update: I left out the excellent Spy Blog from the list below. This site has covered the attacks on civil liberties at a detailed level.

David Davis, until yesterday the Tories’ shadow Home Secretary, has announced his resignation in protest at the Commons passing the law enabling 42 days pre-charge detention. He will fight in the resulting by-election on the general issue of civil liberties. In his speech he refers to the “slow strangulation” of fundamental freedoms in Britain.

Anyone wishing to look-up chapter and verse on the attacks on civil liberties is directed to the following links:

  • Prime recent and proposed attacks on civil liberties. This documents most of the attacks from 1994 to 2005, with direct links to the legislation concerned. For documentation of more recent attacks, the other articles in this blog, alongside the briefing documents are worth perusing.
  • UK Liberty has been documenting the attacks on civil liberties for a couple of years now and doing a sterling job of it too.
  • Taking Liberties is a documentary available on DVD, with a book to accompany it that also documents many incidents in which draconian powers have been used against peaceful protesters in Britain.
  • Henry Porter’s articles in the Observer have also been a good source of info.

The National Staff Dismissal Register

Yet more guilt by accusation in Britain. From the BBC:

To critics it sounds like a scenario from some Orwellian nightmare.

An online database of workers accused of theft and dishonesty, regardless of whether they have been convicted of any crime, which bosses can access when vetting potential employees.

But this is no dystopian fantasy. Later this month, the National Staff Dismissal Register (NSDR) is expected to go live.

Organisers say that major companies including Harrods, Selfridges and Reed Managed Services have already signed up to the scheme. By the end of May they will be able to check whether candidates for jobs have faced allegations of stealing, forgery, fraud, damaging company property or causing a loss to their employers and suppliers.

Workers sacked for these offences will be included on the register, regardless of whether police had enough evidence to convict them. Also on the list will be employees who resigned before they could face disciplinary proceedings at work.

And who’s behind this? The AABC, a group set up under a partnership between the Home Office and the British Retail Consortium:

The register is an initiative of Action Against Business Crime (AABC), which was established as a joint venture between the Home Office and the British Retail Consortium “to set up and maintain business crime reduction partnerships”.

To be fair to the Home Office they say they’ve stopped funding this group.

The British government’s record on keeping personal data safe

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:14 pm on 21 November, 2007.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, the database state, accountability.
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In light of the recent loss of CDs containing the personal details of 25 million people by HM Revenue and Customs, it seems appropriate to summarise this government’s recent record on losing personal data and identity documents:

Note that this is a topic I have covered before, the following list summarises the events previously reported:

Clearly, the government cannot be trusted with our personal data.

Finally, a comprehensive list of data abuse stories (including commercial cases) can be found at UK Liberty’s data abuse page.

British government abandons FOIA charges plan

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:16 pm on 19 November, 2007.
Categories British politics, accountability, freedom of information.
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NB: This was mentioned in Gordon Brown’s speech “on liberty”, but I felt it deserved separate mention from my coverage of that speech.

The Register reported recently that the government has decided to back down on a proposal to revise the way charges are computed for freedom of information requests:

The UK Government has dropped controversial proposals that critics said would have neutered the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Changes to the charging structure that would have allowed bodies to refuse more requests will not now go ahead.

The move comes amid significant opposition from pressure groups and media companies, who say the changes would have hindered access to information about the activities of public bodies. Of the 324 people or organisations who responded to the Government’s consultation on the plan, 73 per cent objected to it, the Ministry of Justice said

Gordon Brown and civil liberties

Last week, at the University of Westminster, Gordon Brown gave us a speech on liberty and what it means for Britain. I have responded to this speech below. Quotations from the speech are indented.

Addressing these issues is a challenge for all who believe in liberty, regardless of political party. Men and women are Conservative or Labour, Liberal Democrat or of some other party - or of no political allegiance. But we are first of all citizens of our country with a shared history and a common destiny.

And I believe that together we can chart a better way forward. In particular, I believe that by applying our enduring ideals to new challenges we can start immediately to make changes in our constitution and laws to safeguard and extend the liberties of our citizens:

* respecting and extending freedom of assembly, new rights for the public expression of dissent;
* respecting freedom to organise and petition, new freedoms that guarantee the independence of non-governmental organisations;
* respecting freedoms for our press, the removal of barriers to investigative journalism;
* respecting the public right to know, new rights to access public information where previously it has been withheld;
* respecting privacy in the home, new rights against arbitrary intrusion;
* in a world of new technology, new rights to protect your private information;
* and respecting the need for freedom from arbitrary treatment, new provision for independent judicial scrutiny and open parliamentary oversight.

Note here how Mr Brown is talking about giving us “new” rights to express dissent, “new” protections of privacy and “new” rights against arbitrary intrusion. The main reason we need “new” protections is precisely because this government has trashed many of the old ones!


Freedom of speech roundup

Back in catch-up mode, this time a selection of stories regarding freedom of speech:

  • Organise a petition, face a trial!

    Peter Black AM, highlights the case of Swansea businessman Carl Lewis, who organised a petition to oppose a proposed traveller’s site in Swansea during a by-election campaign where he was standing as an independent candidate for Swansea council. The CRE has instructed lawyers to take action against Mr Lewis under Section 31 of the Race Relations Act which apparently makes it unlawful to bring pressure on someone to act in a discriminatory way, an extremely vague law which looks like a “catch-all” clause to me. Peter Black highlights just how disturbing this development is:

    Whatever one’s views on this matter, the prosecution of local residents who are using legitimate and democratic means to bring their concerns to the attention of the local Council, will set a dangerous and unwelcome precedent. If for example the Council were to proceed with an official site and lodged a planning application would the CRE determine that anybody who objected to it, and any Councillor who spoke against it, were acting in breach of the Race Relations Act?

    There are fundamental freedom of speech issues here that are not helped by the CRE’s own inconsistency. They are not for example prosecuting the Labour Party, who put out a leaflet in the by-election calling on people to vote for them so as to get rid of the gypsy site. Nor are they prosecuting the BNP who also put out dubious literature during the recent by-election.

    Note that the right to raise a petition, as well as being an important component of any remotely democratic society, dates back in English and Welsh law (at least) to the 1689 Bill of Rights:

    That it is the right of the subjects to petition the King, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.

  • Yes, I know I’ve been very slow on the uptake on the Alisher Usmanov story. For those not in the know, basically, Mr Usmanov didn’t like what some bloggers were writing about him, and instructed his lawyers to get the material removed resulting in a whole swathe of websites, many of which had not published any of the offending material, being shut down. End result, lots of bloggers have taken an interest in the story and rallied round, resulting in the material getting an even wider viewing than it would have done had no one made a fuss. See Chicken Yoghurt and Spy Blog for some summaries, plus check here and here for the offending material itself. Note that Craig Murray (one of the censored bloggers) has material critical of Usmanov in his book without facing any libel charges. Finally Mr. Eugenides sums up the problem succinctly:

    And let’s be clear on this point; these blogs are down not because Usmanov has been libelled, but because he says he’s been libelled, and has a room full of paid monkeys sitting at typewriters firing off theatening letters to that effect.

    I don’t give a shit about this character, or Arsenal FC (no offence to any Gooners out there); nor do I share all or even most of Tim Ireland or Craig Murray’s politics. But that’s far from the point. If you can be silenced for calling a businessman a crook, then you can be silenced for calling a politician a crook, too. Then it’s everyone’s problem.

    Most recently, Indymedia have also been threatened by Usmanov/Schillings and Bloggerheads, one of the affected blogs, is keeping up with the affair here.

  • Shortly after he took over as PM,I covered reports that Gordon Brown might lift the exclusion zone against protesting within 1km of Parliament, after he’d made a speech where he’d talked about safeguarding and enhancing civil liberties. I’m not aware of the exclusion zone having been lifted yet, over 4 months into Gordon Brown’s Prime Ministership. Moreover, the police were recently refusing to allow a march organised by Stop the War to pass within 1 mile of Parliament and even claimed that no marches were allowed whilst Parliament was sitting, but eventually the march went ahead, though this may have been because of the high-profile of one of the marchers. At any rate, it looks like the police were trying to restrict this march but backed down due to the fuss, and there’s still no sign of the exclusion zone being lifted.
  • What did this man do to deserve being tasered?!.
  • Reuters reports that the EU has plans to try and block every website that posts bomb making instructions. In fact it’s worse than it sounds (surely any site on the chemistry of unstable compounds could be deemed to be “bomb-making” instructions?!), from the Reuters report:

    Internet searches for bomb-making instructions should be blocked across the European Union, the bloc’s top security official said on Monday.

    Internet providers should also prevent access to any site giving instructions on how to make a bomb, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said in an interview.

    “I do intend to carry out a clear exploring exercise with the private sector … on how it is possible to use technology to prevent people from using or searching dangerous words like bomb, kill, genocide or terrorism,” Frattini told Reuters. (emphasis added)

    This is crazy. The man wants to actually stop people using certain words in their articles or in search engines! Note that the Reuters report itself would fall foul of the ambitions attribute to Mr. Frattini here.

    The Register reports a more recent speech by Mr. Frattini that mentions plans to make it an offence to post bomb-making recipes on the internet. This speech makes no mention of the blocking of websites that uses certain words, but we’ll probably have to wait until the formal proposals come forward before we see what is actually in the pipeline.

  • Apparently, writing an email like this, got the American author suspended from his University course and told he would have to undergo a compulsory mental health evaluation if he was to be allowed to return.
  • The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 was brought into force at the beginning of October. This Act made it an offence to incite religious hatred, where to fall foul of the law you’d need to use “threatening” language or behaviour and the prosecution would have to prove intent to foment hatred.

    The problem here is not so much the precise definition of the offence, or even the possibility of someone being jailed when they criticise a religion, but rather it is the likely effect it will have on people prior to the point at which legal proceedings might be instigated, as the Pub Philosopher explains in an article posted after the bill passed:

    People will register that the law has been passed and that there are now penalties for saying nasty things about Islam. Most will not read the small print and will decide that it is simply safer to keep quiet. Managers, unsure of the law, will flinch in the face of demands and accusations from Muslim staff who decide to test the limits of their new legal rights. Expect to see more cases like the ridiculous ban on pig toys in Dudley.

    Even in its modified form, the Religious Hatred Bill will close down debate about religion and will restrict free speech. Last night’s government defeat may have preserved some of our legal freedom to criticise religions but the new law will create an atmosphere in which fewer people are prepared to take the risk.

    For example, could a protest in which placards of the Danish cartoons were being waved be construed as “threatening” behaviour? What if some militant (and thus vocal) Muslims claimed they felt threatened by such a protest, finding it intimidating?

  • Finally, it appears that British diplomats may face a life-time gag preventing them writing articles or letters drawing on the expertise they gather during their careers, even in retirement. As Brian Barder explains in the Telegraph:

    Official secrets are protected by the Official Secrets Act, which rightly binds officials for life, both as government employees and after retirement.

    The new rules go much further, banning any unauthorised expression of opinion not just by serving officers but also by retired diplomats for the rest of their lives, if such an expression “draws on, or appears to draw on, official information or experience gained in the course of official duties”.

    This applies even if no breach of secrets is involved.

    Had this been in force a few years ago, it could have prevented publication of the ground-breaking letter of 52 former ambassadors and other senior ex-diplomats constructively criticising the Government’s Middle East policies.

    It would prevent ex-diplomats with unrivalled experience “gained in the course of their official duties” from writing articles or letters to the newspapers or giving media interviews on controversial foreign policy issues such as Iraq.

    It would have closed down several stimulating and informative blogs and pre-empted many diplomatic memoirs.

    Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, formerly a senior diplomat, would presumably have been prevented from serving as the Conservative spokesperson on security in the Lords. (emphasis added)

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