Thursday, November 29, 2007

Purpose of Legislation 2

Legislation is often justified for one purpose, and then used for some other purpose. We have seen numerous examples of this on this blog. Here are some further examples.
  • Animal Rights Activists Forced to Hand Over Encryption Keys [BBC News]. Bruce Schneier comments: "If you remember, this was sold to the public as essential for fighting terrorism. It's already being misused."
  • NatWest Three Face Jail Sentence [BBC News]. Three UK bankers will spend time in US prison, thanks to an extradition treaty agreed in the wake of the September 11 attacks. British business leaders and civil liberties campaigners (including Digby Jones, Mike Templeman and Shami Chakrabarti) have criticized the treaty as unbalanced. [BBC News]
Sometimes we wonder whether those pushing for the original legislation always had a hidden agenda - at least they must be aware of the potential value of grabbing powers that can be used for other purposes.

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