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Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.
Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move.
He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from “criminals and terrorists” after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.
But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people’s privacy.
Mr Cameron defended the move in a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying it was about maintaining existing capabilities – not introducing new snooping laws.
But it will make legally clear the requirements include companies based abroad, whose phone and internet services are used in the UK. A former senior diplomat will also be appointed to work with other nations to speed up the “lawful and justified” transfer of data across borders.
Mr Cameron also said he had reached an agreement with Labour leader Ed Miliband for a wider review of the surveillance powers needed by the security services, to report after the next election.
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What emergency data law means for you
The UK is set to push through an emergency law so it can continue to have access to people’s phone and internet records.
A European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling earlier this year meant the powers to retain this data were under threat.
Prime Minster David Cameron said if the information were to be deleted, or no longer collected, it would seriously impede the UK’s ability to fight crime and protect the country against terrorism.
However, privacy campaigners said it was another encroachment on the rights of people not to have their communications monitored.
Here is an explanation of the new law, and what it means to people who live in the UK.
The legislation is primarily aimed at the companies that provide us with telephone and internet connections.
It outlines their legal obligation to retain “communications data” on their customers. This metadata includes things like logs of when calls were made, what numbers were dialled, and other information that can be used, the government says, in investigations. It does not include the content of the communications.
The legislation also covers “legal intercept” rules. This is when authorities are able to listen in to the content of communications. This can only legally take place with a warrant signed by either the foreign secretary, the home secretary, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, the defence secretary or the cabinet secretary for justice for Scotland.
The law has a “sunset clause”, which falls at the end of 2016. When this happens, the law must be looked at again by the government at the time.
Additionally, a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will be set up to advise on government policy on counterterrorisim.
A transparency report will, each year, list the number and type of requests made to communication firms under the new law – similar to the way in which Google, Facebook and other technology firms publicise their actions relating to user privacy.
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Vibes FM’s Roberto Allen passed away on Tuesday (July 8)
THE COMMUNITY is mourning the loss of Vibes FM DJ Roberto Allen who passed away on Tuesday (July 8) from a suspected brain haemorrhage, aged 53.
Though his cause of death has not been confirmed by his representatives, Allen’s passing was confirmed by the station.
Retweeting a message from community activist Lee Jasper on the official Vibe FM Twitter page triggered an outpouring of condolences for the much-loved DJ.
Jasper wrote: “DJ Roberto Allen has passed and Im in deep shock. Sending my condolences to his family and all at @vibesfm”
After working as a DJ spinning Brixton’s Neville King sound, Allen began a career in radio in 1984 at JFM. THe went on to work at Solar Radio and Time radio in addition to guest hosting on BBC Radio London, Capital Radio and KISS-FM.
In the 1990s, he started the Nasty Love sound system, the top dancehall sound system which dominated the UK Raggamuffin scene and was responsible for breaking new talent in UK dancehall.
Additionally, the 53-year-old co-produced Peter Hunnigale’s first number one hitPerfect Lady propelling Hunnigale into stardom.
Allen’s weekly Rice and Peas show on Vibes FM, where he played reggae hits between 1-4pm on Sundays, pulled in listeners from far and wide and his sudden death sparked an overwhelming surge of love on The Voice newspaper’s Facebook page.
Paula Franks wrote: “I didn’t know him, although it almost felt like I did -he was in my kitchen once a week!! Cheered me with positivity when I felt low, & gave me a spring in my step listening to him on my way to work. Am shocked & very saddened. Sincere condolences to his family & Vibes family.. He will leave a gap in my life, so goodness knows how you must all be feeling. RIEP. X One love…”
Peter Merrifield added: “Sunday afternoons will be missing a true but Roberto Allens spirit will always be with us
With gratitude and heartfelt thanks Rest In peace Sir Robert.”
Source: The Voice
Reggae legend Maxxi Priest, fans and fellow musicians paid homage to Allen on social media.
Source: The Burton Wire
The Met Police told staff to delete records on sex and race discrimination against one of its employees, an employment tribunal has found.
Firearms officer Carol Howard, 35, was “singled out and targeted” for nearly a year, a panel ruled.
An officer looking at her complaints was asked to delete references in a report into discrimination related to race or sex, it said.
The Met said it was “disappointed” at the findings but would review the case.
Ms Howard, of Purley, south London, brought a claim of discrimination at the Central London Employment Tribunal earlier this year.
A judgement issued by the panel which heard the case said the Met “directly discriminated” against Ms Howard “on the grounds of sex and race” between 31 January and 29 October 2012.
A number of Ms Howard’s complaints of “victimisation” were “well-founded”, the tribunal added.
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Black women are invisible – neither white women nor black men – and that allows institutions such as the Met to claim there isn’t a problem
We are now well accustomed to the Met’s knee-jerk responses to malpractice. There is the usual forceful denial of any such thing and then the closing of ranks. Finally, when the public manages to claw enough evidence of the truth from their unrelenting clutches, there is the carefully worded, PR-sanctified non-apology.
It is a trajectory with which PC Carol Howard – “singled out and targeted” because she is a woman and black in the elite Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG), the same unit responsible for the Plebgate scandal – is no doubt all too familiar. She was once used as a face for the Met’s diversity, but now an employment tribunal has ruled that the organisation had “directly discriminated” against her and exposed the force’s practice of systematically destroying evidence of sexual and racial discrimination within its ranks. Their actions are, in a word, outrageous.
They follow last year’s 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, when the Metropolitan Black Police Association (BPA) pointedly chose to declare that the Met remains institutionally racist. A year later, a string of revelations have further dented any trust we may have left in the force. In December the chief commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, admitted that crime figures were being fiddled, with offences such as rape going under-reported. New details emerge from Plebgate, exposing officers capable of brazen deceit, arrogantly believing themselves to be above the very law they purport to uphold.
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Maxi Priest giving an exclusive interview
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