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  You can't investigate that...

The Daily Mail reports on Labour amendments to the Data Protection Bill designed to restrict press investigations in the name of data protection, and of course to resurrect unjust press censorship ideas suggested by Leveson


Link Here 11th December 2017
house of lords red logoThe Daily Mail explains that criminals and corrupt politicians and businessmen could escape exposure under a new attempt to restrict Press freedom.

A fresh bid to restrict the rights of journalists and the media to inquire into crime and corruption involves attempts to change a data law that is going through Parliament.

One Labour amendment to the Data Protection Bill would mean that the Information Commissioner would have powers to decide whether codes of conduct under which journalists work should be recognised by the new law.

A second amendment would rewrite the new law so that the unjust censorship powers suggested in the second half of the Leveson inquiry into Press standards would go ahead.

Currently the proposed legislation provides an exemption for journalists who access and store personal information without consent when exposing wrongdoing. This means that individuals under investigation by journalists would not be able to interfere with their inquiries or block publication of stories that would bring to light wrongdoing.

However a series of attempts have been made to introduce changes to the Bill which would remove safeguards for freedom of expression, bind journalists and make their inquiries either difficult or impossible.

 

  Siding with the powerful and corrupt...

Disgraceful peers seek to restrict investigative journalism in the name of 'data protection'


Link Here 11th November 2017
house of lords red logoCriminals, corrupt business leaders and cheating MPs could avoid being exposed under a fresh assault on Press freedom.

Amendments to the Data Protection Bill going through Parliament would make it easier for the rich and powerful to escape being held to account.

Tabled by Tory peer John Attlee and crossbencher Shiela Hollins, the changes would make it harder to carry out investigative journalism and protect the identity of sources who reveal wrongdoing.

They would affect all publications, from national newspapers and broadcasters including the BBC, to small community newspapers, charities and think-tanks.

Critics also fear that a second raft of amendments is being used as a backdoor route to force publishers to join the injust regulator Impress, which depends on money from the former Formula One boss Max Mosley.

The latest moves threaten 300 years of Press freedom by undermining the principle that journalists have the right to print whatever information they believe is in the public interest, and only answer for it to the courts afterward.

Last night Lord Grade, a former chairman of the BBC and ITV, said: Any legislative move that restricts a journalist's legitimate inquiries should be opposed. The current laws and codes of conduct are sufficient to protect people from unwarranted intrusion and exposure.

Under the existing Bill, as proposed by the Government, the exemption for journalists depends on whether their reporting is in the public interest, as defined by the Ofcom code, the BBC editorial guidelines or the Independent Press Standards Organisation's Editors' Code of Practice. But some peers want to remove Ipso from the legislation and replace it with the injust press censor Impress, which covers only a handful of hyper-local publications and blogs.

Robert Skidelsky, one of the peers seeking to have Impress's code of practice recognised in the Bill, is a close friend of Max Mosley.

 

  Whac-a-mole...

UK parliament group launches a clearly biased inquiry into pop-up brothels


Link Here 11th November 2017
english collective of prostitutes logo The UK Parliament's All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Prostitution has launched an inquiry on pop-up brothels using short term lets.

The APPG inquiry will obviously be biased against sex workers as it describes such brothels in pejorative way explaining that the investigation has been prompted by growing reports of organised crime groups establishing 'pop-up' brothels to sexually exploit women

It will now look to gather evidence on the scale of the practice, who is involved, and what action the Government should take.

prostitutescollective.net notes that the inquiry is not independent and is deeply biased:

You may recall the APPG's previous inquiry into prostitution in 2014 and its remit to develop proposals for government action with a focus on tackling demand for the sex trade. Unsurprisingly, the inquiry's conclusion was to recommend the blanket criminalisation of sex workers' clients, as well as targeting sex workers with draconian ASBOs, which carry up to five years in prison if breached. These proposals were influenced unduly by the original secretariat of that group, a Christian charity called CARE, which has a track record of homophobia and fundamentalist Christian views. This inquiry was discredited when the chair of the APPG refused to publish the evidence on which its recommendations were apparently based.

The demands that sex workers are making are being disparaged and ignored. We have repeatedly told parliament, including the APPG, that decriminalisation in New Zealand has made it safer for sex workers and that those who claim to want to abolish prostitution must say how else we are supposed to survive.

Austerity cuts (which have targeted women in particular) and policies such as benefit sanctions have led to a big increase in prostitution like in Sheffield which reported a 166% increase. Why aren't these issues being addressed by politicians who claim to want to save women from prostitution? Or why not an inquiry into the epidemic of violence sex workers are facing? Our experience shows that when sex workers report violence they often face prosecution themselves while little is done to catch their attackers.

We want to stop this Committee in its tracks and make them listen to people who have to live with the horrendous impacts of the unjust prostitution laws.

You'll see that the questions are biased, make various unproven assumptions and misdirect people into answering in a particular way. We need as many people as possible (and particularly sex workers) to respond to the inquiry so that our shared views are reflected in the final report.

 

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