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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Labour Party spied upon its members

And, allegedly, did so by violating the EU's General Data Privacy Regulations in connivance with Twitter and Facebook:
A leaked internal Labour Party report has hit the headlines because of lurid statements allegedly made by staff. What has been missed however, receiving barely any coverage, is an apparent admission that, using a secret deal with Facebook and Twitter, the Labour Party has been running automated surveillance on its own members. If true, this is manifestly unlawful – each member affected would almost certainly have a valid claim in damages under Data Protection legislation.

In the furore about the leaked Labour report, many commentators have focused on the supposedly racist, sexist, and / or ableist remarks. There is also the apparent dishonest treacherous plotting. It is important to remember of course that this report was produced by a bitterly infighting party and its contents are disputed. Former staff who were criticised claim that accusations about their conduct were never put to them.

Labour had automated software that reconciled its privileged access to Twitter and Facebook data with their membership database to identify and monitor member accounts.

It is worth turning to the Data Protection Principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, which was in force at the time (replaced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 in May 2018). The principles were set out in section 4 (archive) and Schedule 1 (archive).

Of especial relevance, these principles included processing data, “fairly”, holding data that was “not excessive”. Fairness usually means notifying members of the way their data will be used. A quick glance at Labour’s current terms on its, ‘Join’ page does say that email addresses will be used to contact members. It says nothing about consenting to Orwellian real time monitoring for wrongthink.

Furthermore, on the topic of fairness, it is alleged that the Governance and Legal Unit deliberately hid aspects of the project from the Labour Party’s supreme body, the NEC. It is alleged that Sam Matthews, a Compliance Officer, stated – “we don’t want the NEC to have much of an idea how many there are to review (we’re worried they’ll get scared)”.

Volunteers were used to review the data produced by the automated scan, including 10 Labour Students. Two were from pro-remain group, “Britain Stronger in Europe”. The program would scan for juxtapositions of wrong or abusive terms and the Twitter handles of Labour MPs. That is, for tweets likely to be rude tweets directed at Labour MPs. However, it only included a subset of Labour MPs. Some MPs were not included for protection. Whilst the report alleges that this was factional, the reason does not really matter. Personal data linked to members and MPs was apparently processed in a manifestly unfair way, with oversight and disclosure intentionally thwarted....

This is probably the most sinister thing I have ever seen ever out of Big Tech. A major political Party, conspiring with the world’s two largest social media companies, to scan its members feeds and expel or suspend them for “incorrect” views. I would say it should be against the law but of course it is.
It's long past time for European countries to follow the wise lead of China and Russia by banning systematically lawless technology companies like Twitter and Facebook. And the allegation that Twitter is guilty of violating the GDPR is strongly supported by the fact that it responded almost immediately to the author's email, in contrast to the smug silence with which it greets most emails from its users.

“Twitter disputes the factual characterizations and legal conclusions in your email and your draft blog post. We reserve all rights and defenses.”

Ooh, they reserved their rights and defenses? So intimidating! As if Twitter wants to get within one thousand miles of a European court investigating their GDPR violations and data security practices. And Twitter is very far from the only US-based tech company to be suspected of serially and systematically violating GDPR as well as other data privacy laws.

But they'll have their chance to defend their practices, as they have already been reported to the Information Commissioner by the author.

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43 Comments:

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 22, 2020 9:47 AM  

We've known this was going on in other Euros for a while, with them reporting the peoples' "hate speech" to the govs and getting them imprisoned. No surprise? I suppose I'm just waiting for the more distributed realization in the USA that the same thing has been going on here the entire time.

Everyone talks about the Spanish Inquisition, which was permitted by the church and headed up by a Jew by blood, although they never mention that last part. How come the same moaners have no problem with the digital occult inquisition waged with more cruelty and less justice by government supported net giants?

Answer: Because they have no true issue with inquisition and espionage, only Christianity.

Blogger bramley April 22, 2020 10:02 AM  

Sam at matthewhopkinsnews.com is an absolutely brilliant and tenacious investigative reporter in the proper sense. He digs up some truly stunning information. But i rarely visit his site because i find it just too depressing to read, it's like an atrocity exhibition...

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 22, 2020 10:20 AM  

It's rather amusing how these Global Tech companies think that because they have "money", they also have power.

Twitter has been an unprofitable company for most of its existence and I very much doubt they will be able to sustain themselves by the end of this decade. Same goes for Facebook.

Blogger crescent wrench April 22, 2020 10:27 AM  

As Milo and several others have learned, GDPR is not a law which is enforced when the "out-group" is the victim.

According to GDPR these people should have received any and all information on their social media accounts, including any internal decisions leading to their bans. As of this date, now years later, there is apparently no action on either of their requests and no mention of lawsuits moving forward.

As lack of equality under the law becomes more self-evident, it's only a matter of time before a critical mass rejects the legitimacy of that law and you have revolution (whether quiet or ugly) on your hands.

Unfortunately for these Marxists, the revolution they're stoking will not be the one they seek.

Blogger tublecane April 22, 2020 10:46 AM  

"many commentators have focused on the supposedly racist, sexist, and / or ableist remarks"

Am I the only one who still laughs when they see "ist" appended to something besides race or sex? Not that the latter -ists are real things. Except insofar as they're used as leverage.

Imagine the amount of mind-control that's gone into this nonsense for it to be the #1 thing everyone talks about whenever a story like this blows. People's private or semi-private thoughts are always going to run afoul of the -ists.

Blogger Rakshasa April 22, 2020 11:51 AM  

The data protection laws in Europe are mainly derived from those implemented by the Norwegian government in the early 1980's, following recommendations from a professor at University of Oslo created at the request of the government.

So when you see these very sensible and effective laws and regulations know that they are the product of the best of our minds being applied honestly towards the betterment of the people.

Even 4 decades later they're still not able to completely dilute its beneficial influences.

Blogger Stilicho April 22, 2020 11:55 AM  

What are the odds that the DNC and other globalist political parties around the world didn't have similar arrangements with Twatter and Facebook?

Blogger Jack Amok April 22, 2020 11:57 AM  

it is alleged that the Governance and Legal Unit deliberately hid aspects of the project from the Labour Party’s supreme body, the NEC. It is alleged that Sam Matthews, a Compliance Officer, stated – “we don’t want the NEC to have much of an idea how many there are to review (we’re worried they’ll get scared)”.

File this one under "No Shit Sherlock." It's the Labour Party. They're socialists, of course they'll have a Cheka.

As Milo and several others have learned, GDPR is not a law which is enforced when the "out-group" is the victim.

GDPR is so over-broad and nebulous that it's clearly intended as one of those selectively-enforced "if we need to, we'll use this on you" sort of laws.

Blogger Doktor Jeep April 22, 2020 12:10 PM  

Now we know how twitter makes their money and off the books too.
But don't expect this branch of the deep state to be brought to justice.

Blogger Austin Slater April 22, 2020 12:53 PM  

I have a hard time taking any of this data privacy stuff seriously when most of its advocates probably endorse breaking the rules to Kill Dee Nazis.

Blogger VD April 22, 2020 12:55 PM  

As Milo and several others have learned, GDPR is not a law which is enforced when the "out-group" is the victim.

Stop cucking and crying. No one does anything until you force them to do so. It's a bit ironic given that Hopkins is actually accomplishing the very stuff you claim is impossible.

If you're going to spin your bowtie here, you're going to be banned.

Blogger VD April 22, 2020 12:56 PM  

Now we know how twitter makes their money and off the books too. But don't expect this branch of the deep state to be brought to justice.

You're never going to advance from omegadom if you don't stop assuming that you'll lose. Twitter will be brought down, sooner or later.

Blogger Silly but True April 22, 2020 1:01 PM  

Oh noes, not _ABELIST_ remarks!?!

Those monsters.

Blogger bramley April 22, 2020 1:02 PM  

@5 That's Istist

Blogger Dole April 22, 2020 1:04 PM  

What's with the whining? Nothing is more glorious than getting the bastards with their own poison.

Blogger Uncle John's Band April 22, 2020 1:20 PM  

The compulsion to tack defeatist qualifiers onto comments is bizarre. It's like a mental illness.

Is it something that happens IRL too?

'Getting taken out to dinner tonight. Figure I'll get food poisoning' or 'just checked into the motel. Too bad housekeeping will murder me in my sleep'.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 22, 2020 1:23 PM  

"don't expect this branch of the deep state to be brought to justice."

Twitter was born with its days numbered as surely as its limit of words per post. The old school grapevine's about a step and a half from reasserting its dominance by feasting on the remains of the likes of twitwat, the only barrier is that people don't distrust strangers quite enough yet, but that's coming soon.

Expect small scale locally operated networks with heavy insulation against outside. Large scale propaganda is just beginning to experience a long term setback.

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants April 22, 2020 1:25 PM  

I would assume if they didn't yet have this agreement with the US, it's in the works.

Interesting info link, Vox. Thanks for the post.

Blogger Nihil Dicit April 22, 2020 1:30 PM  

Now we know how twitter makes their money and off the books too.

Tell us news, not history. As the recent experience of the good people at IDKA demonstrates, despite the much ballyhooed "frontier entrepreneurial spirit" of the internet, taking the ticket is often the only way to survive. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al., are certainly catering to vital needs, but it ain't the needs of their users.

Blogger James Dixon April 22, 2020 1:44 PM  

> But they'll have their chance to defend their practices, as they have already been reported to the Information Commissioner by the author.

I am so glad we invested in ConAgra (the owners of Orville Redenbacher's popcorn).

> Am I the only one who still laughs when they see "ist" appended to something besides race or sex? Not that the latter -ists are real things.

The first two aren't either.

Blogger cheddarman April 22, 2020 1:59 PM  

Hang the bitches!

Blogger crescent wrench April 22, 2020 2:11 PM  

VD wrote:As Milo and several others have learned, GDPR is not a law which is enforced when the "out-group" is the victim.

Stop cucking and crying. No one does anything until you force them to do so. It's a bit ironic given that Hopkins is actually accomplishing the very stuff you claim is impossible.

If you're going to spin your bowtie here, you're going to be banned.


It seems I was missing the latest information re: Hopkins on that front.

I was under the impression the others were properly following up based on their public statements but if Hopkins is getting results through judicial process that indicates I was severely mistaken.

Thanks for the good news.

Blogger Sean April 22, 2020 2:40 PM  

Offtopic, but I just saw this hit-add by Trump on Pelosi and some of the most amazing rhetoric ever. However, as VD stated, the best rhetoric has many grains of truth in them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7DKYML2MRs

Blogger VD April 22, 2020 2:47 PM  

The compulsion to tack defeatist qualifiers onto comments is bizarre. It's like a mental illness.

It is. That's what habitual losers do. They're so used to losing that hope is emotionally painful to them.

Blogger VD April 22, 2020 2:47 PM  

I was under the impression the others were properly following up based on their public statements.

As a general rule, don't pay any attention whatsoever to what a media personality says they are doing.

Blogger Stilicho April 22, 2020 2:52 PM  

Even if you legitimately think you will lose, that is not reason enough to not fight (and at least take as many of the SOBs with you as possible).

If nothing else, it determines the size of your honor guard in Valhalla.

Blogger Matthew Hopkins (MHN) / Sam Smith April 22, 2020 3:25 PM  

@VD
Thanks for sharing this, Vox. Greatly appreciated.

Stop cucking and crying.
Indeed. There are 'win' stories regularly here. Here are a few wins crescent wrench may have missed -

* Brexit
* Donald Trump in the US
* Boris Johnson in the UK
* the move away from remote, elitist global / supra-national institutions to local, national ones

Little things like that.

At the moment, Silicon Valley is perceived as biased so that is what a lot of people talk about. The far left made a huge move on it in 2015 / 2016 in response to things like GamerGate and later Trump. They made inroads at Facebook, Patreon and Twitter in particular.

The problem is partly noticed and noticeable because it is new. It is not an eternal inevitable. It was a wild west only a few years ago. The problem will also be corrected. Western societies have faced very strong censorship many times in the past and each time it was eventually defeated.

The importance of online media is new. Many of us were brought up before the internet existed, so to power brokers in their 40s, 50s and 60s bias in social media was not an idea they immediately grasped as important. However, they clearly have now, with Trump and Cruz referring to it regularly and the Whitehouse contemplating Executive Orders.

If you read Laura Loomer's donor list, there are a few billionaires and other major VIP donors and it is the Silicon Valley issue that gets her on the radar - https://www.dailydot.com/debug/laura-loomer-congress-gop-donors/

Here is a political candidate for one of the two main parties in her country and she is banned from the major social media platforms (and weirdly, Uber and Lyft). Why is a glorified taxi firm allowed to ban a random individual for their political views?

Here in the United Kingdom, my Member of Parliament is obviously well aware of the legitimate concerns with Wikipedia, for example. Obviously they got him unfairly fired from his job in David Cameron's government, with a senior volunteer having improper contact with a Guardian journalist.

Grant got his job back - he is now in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport. He is obviously aware of the problem. I am certain a lot of my colleagues are too.

There are solutions in the works we know about and other more subtle ones we don't. There are a myriad open doors to push on, with powerful people with common interests behind them. Twitter recently got a major new Republican stockholder who is seeking to replace Jack Dorsey.

The only guarantee of defeat is to give in. Many weaker parties have won the day, after a more powerful opponent quit the field to avoid losses that they could not afford.

Blogger Tetro April 22, 2020 3:26 PM  

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. - H.L. Mencken

Blogger Lauri Stark April 22, 2020 3:48 PM  

Vox, what's your opinion about the role of EU in this? I mean, EU has been rather effective against the social media giants and has already sanctioned Google multiple times. Could this be achieved by national governments?

Blogger Cinco April 22, 2020 3:56 PM  

As a general rule, don’t pay any attention whatsoever to what a media personality says they are doing

We are still waiting for Media Whores to be published VD, the sequel should be titled “Attention Whores”

Blogger weka April 22, 2020 4:02 PM  

The derp state agents use Twitter nfor publicity and slack, zoom and email for planning.

The secure state uses electric typewriters and numbered, signed memorandae.

But they are under an official secrets Act. Twitter is instead under acts written to be used on the enemies of the derp state.

Of course they are derp state clients. They have no other income.

But that state can and will burn assets.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia April 22, 2020 4:10 PM  

It's long past time for European countries to follow the wise lead of China and Russia by banning systematically lawless technology companies like Twitter and Facebook.

China doesn't ban Facebook due to its privacy-loving and law-abiding heart, Facebook's moral compass notwithstanding.

Certain Nation State/Deep State/Political Actors have the same Orwellian coin in their pocket.

It's just when they take it out and flip it, sometimes it comes up heads, and sometimes it comes up tails.

Blogger Sam Spade April 22, 2020 4:15 PM  

Bruce Charlton theory on the current type of evil being Ahrimanic, and the explanation of its characteristics, is one of the most insightful things I have read in years.

Mass surveillance, burocracy, microcontrol, obession for auditing and monitorizing everything, etc. It was a revelation that explained a lot of things that I've seen on my work that I felt wrong but they didn't fit in the evil we are taught since childhood.

Blogger Lazarus April 22, 2020 9:12 PM  

bramley wrote:Sam at matthewhopkinsnews.com is an absolutely brilliant and tenacious investigative reporter in the proper sense. He digs up some truly stunning information. But i rarely visit his site because i find it just too depressing to read, it's like an atrocity exhibition...

Your anxiety is that of the spectator. Those in the game don't have that because they are busy being active. Its spectator sports in a nutshell.

Blogger Captain Barnacles April 22, 2020 11:54 PM  

“That's what habitual losers do. They're so used to losing that hope is emotionally painful to them.”
So much inspiration in that statement. It’s similar to when on the Apprentice, the God Emperor fired that guy for calling himself white trash. Whites are comfortable putting themselves down out if habit, and he stopped that cold.

I’m going to post that quote underneath the black pill comments on articles on the President’s moratorium on immigration.

Blogger Tetro April 23, 2020 2:39 AM  

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. - H.L. Mencken

If the demons of despondency and despair have frequented your doorstep for much of your life, you must realize that you cannot engage them rationally and expect to win. You will not. The main remedies are increased Trust and Hope in an Almighty and Omnipotent God who demands you continue to do Good, to soldier on expecting Victory, no matter what the battlefield may look like.

Any other lesser-knowns like Matthew Hopkins doing good journalism these days?

Blogger bramley April 23, 2020 4:30 AM  

@34

I'm not in a nutshell... I'm in a nuthouse!

And you're wrong.

Blogger Dole April 23, 2020 5:10 AM  

@27
Cucking and crying = Losing without style.
Cuckservative inc. = Losing with style.
The Dread Ilk = Relentless winning.

That pretty much summarizes all you need to know in choosing which course of action to pursue.

Blogger VD April 23, 2020 6:30 AM  

China doesn't ban Facebook due to its privacy-loving and law-abiding heart, Facebook's moral compass notwithstanding.

Obviously. And irrelevant. Literally everything you comment is either a) obvious or b) stupid and wrong.

Seriously, precisely whom do you think you are enlightening concerning the nature of the Chinese government... on a site belonging to an East Asian Studies major?

Blogger Grooveware April 23, 2020 9:21 AM  

There's been more good news on this blog everyday since the China Flu was released, love getting my daily dose of morale from here

Blogger Jim the Curmudgeon April 23, 2020 10:02 AM  

This is fascinating. Having worked in Silicon Valley I have often wondered if there are shady 'off the books' projects for tech companies to spy on their own employees.

I can't wait until we all have microchips that will allow hospitals and banks to deny you service when they find out you have been flagged for holding the wrong opinions.

Blogger tuberman April 23, 2020 12:57 PM  

@41 Jim

"I can't wait until we all have microchips that will allow hospitals and banks to deny you service when they find out you have been flagged for holding the wrong opinions."

Did you not read Uncle John's comment about these black pilling add-ons?

"The compulsion to tack defeatist qualifiers onto comments is bizarre. It's like a mental illness." SMH!

Blogger John Rockwell April 24, 2020 12:22 AM  

VD wrote:The compulsion to tack defeatist qualifiers onto comments is bizarre. It's like a mental illness.

It is. That's what habitual losers do. They're so used to losing that hope is emotionally painful to them.


And hope is something that Jesus offers. The way out of omegadom.

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