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the Passion
continued from front page
Big Bother
A massive government Big Brother Society at worst.”
narrow view
database holding details of Jonathan Bamford, the
every phone call, e-mail and assistant Information
time spent on the internet by Commissioner, said: “This
the public is being planned as would give us serious concerns
of Islam
part of the fight against crime and may well be a step too
and terrorism. Internet service far. We are not aware of any
providers (ISPs) and telecoms justification for the State to
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Bishop has many misguided
companies would hand over hold every UK citizen’s phone
of Rochester, who earlier views about Islam, different
the records to the Home Office and internet records. We
this year caused anger by communities and different
under plans put forward by have real doubts that such a
suggesting that some Muslim faiths are working together to
officials. measure can be justified, or
communities were ‘no go eradicate this and comments
The information would be is proportionate or desirable.
areas’, considering that he like this does nothing to
held for at least 12 months and We have warned before that
had never been in any of harbour solidarity between
the police and security services we are sleepwalking into a
the areas has created a cultures and religion.
would be able to access it surveillance society. Holding
fresh attack by claiming that Dr Nazir Ali’s comments
if given permission from the large collections of data is
the collapse of a ‘Christian have puzzled many Muslims
courts. always risky - the more data
nation’ has left Britain in a and students.
There will also be concern that is collected and stored, the
moral vacuum. Student Ibrahim Jones
about the ability of the bigger the problem when the
The comments come in an said, Dr Nazir Ali should go
Government to manage a data is lost, traded or stolen.”
article for the debut issue of back re think and read, seek
system holding billions of David Davis, the Shadow
the new political magazine knowledge and look at what
records. About 57 billion text Home Secretary, said: “Given
Standpoint – which has a very Islam is all about and how
messages were sent in Britain [ministers’] appalling record
small circulation, but has been true, clean Islam is through
last year, while an estimated 3 at maintaining the integrity of
projected into the headlines the original source of the
billion e-mails are sent every databases holding people’s
by front-page stories in Quran and Sunnah, or is he
day. sensitive data, this could well
leading newspapers. fooling himself knowing that
Home Office officials be more of a threat to our
Last month he said that Islam is the greatest religion
have discussed the option security, than a support.”
respect for Islam in Britain in the world and that when
of the national database The proposal has emerged as
“may have gone too far” people look into the religion
with telecommunications part of plans to implement an
and backed a hard-line that soon they will find the
companies and ISPs as part EU directive developed after
evangelical resolution for the answers they have been
of preparations for a data the July 7 bombings to bring
Church of England’s General searching for.
communications uniformity of record-keeping.
Synod (its ruling assembly Mohammed Shafiq of the
Industry sources gave Since last October telecoms
of bishops, clergy and lay Ramadhan Foundation
warning that a single database companies have been required
people) calling for more overt said that it was wrong and
would be at greater risk of to keep records of phone calls
attempts to promote the misleading to characterise
attack and abuse. and text messages for 12
Christian message among Islam in terms of its wilder
Commenting on the new months. That requirement is to
Muslims. fringes, and that together
proposals, Ibrahim Hasan, be extended to internet, e-mail
His article criticises people in Britain could build
a privacy law expert told and voice-over-internet use and
“multiculturalism” and says a common future.
Passion Islam: “This is quite a included in a Communications
that historic Christianity Dr Nazir-Ali is the
worrying proposal that needs Data Bill.
knitted together a “rabble only Church of England
more scrutiny and debate. Police and the security
of mutually hostile tribes” to diocesan bishop from an
The current law has gone far services can access the
generate a British identity Asian background. Born in
enough. It is a little known fact records with a warrant issued
which was able to create a Pakistan, he became an
that it’s not just the police and by the courts. Rather than
global empire. Anglican via Catholicism,
the security services that can individual companies holding
This view comes at a time and was Bishop of Raiwind
access communications data the information, Home Office
when communities of all and general secretary of
at present. Local authorities, officials are suggesting the
faiths should be coming the Church Mission Society
as well as a whole host of other records be handed over to the
together and uniting against (CMS) before moving to
public sector organisations, Government and stored on a
evil, it really shows the Rochester.
have the powers to access huge database.
some communications data A Home Office spokesman
If you have any news or want to contribute to the
for crime prevention and said the Bill was needed
detection purposes and for to reflect changes in
magazine please contact us:
tackling anti social behaviour. communication that would
Extending the requirement “increasingly undermine our
tel: 07506 466 385
on communications service current capabilities to obtain
or write to us at:
providers to hold more data and communications data and use
Textile Hall, Hick Lane, Batley
then putting the government it to protect the public”.
West Yorkshire, WF17 5HW
in charge of it, seems to be a
recipe for data disaster at best Comment on this article
and a quantum leap towards a
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