Monday 4 December 2017

Why we Have to Defend Damian Green

Far be it from me to ever defend any Tory, but since the Damian Green scandal involves attacks on him by people who are lower than any Tory since they come from both New Labour and the Metropolitan Police, I feel obliged to take up the cudgels on his behalf. 

Back in 2009, the New Labour regime was rocked by a series of leaks, so they turned the police loose on the recipient of those leaks, who was Damian Green. The leaks, which showed any number of irregularities in British immigration policy were especially embarrassing for Jaqueline Smith, the then Home Secretary who was widely regarded by many in political life as having a bra size larger than her IQ.

Rather than sacking Smith, Downing Street preferred to act in the best traditions of Latin-American banana republics and turned the state's boot-boys loose against the main opposition party. Needless to say, all Hell broke loose in Westminster.

Since nothing could be found to tie Green to any criminal acts, he was released, and that is when the matter becomes even more disturbing. The police who carried out the raid were ordered by their superiors, so we are told, to delete all the scans that had been taken of Green's computers, but they didn't do that. Instead, they kept them for almost a decade until such a time came up when they could be used to embarrass a government.

Again, what we have here are actions that have more in common with banana republics than they have with mature, developed democracies.

If we are talking about thumbnails then pretty much all computers have porn thumbnails on them. The engagingly cynical Rule 34 of the Internet states quite clearly that whatever exists on the web has a porn version as well. Since the web is porn driven, pretty much any search will bring up the porn version of those search terms. The computer will then save whatever thumbnail images come up and slot them into temporary folders, which will later be deleted automatically by that same computer.

However, and here is the key to the matter, as when a computer deletes something it does not remove it completely. What it does is tell itself that the space occupied by that material can be written over and unless it is actually written over the data can be recovered fairly easily

The plods involved in this fairly odious attempt at what seems to be a coup know this, but they rely on you not knowing it. That is why they talk about "thumbnails," rather than "images." They seem to want to muddy the waters and hope that you cannot tell the difference between the two or how they are obtained. Put simply, images are usually downloaded by someone deliberately, whereas thumbnails are often picked up by a computer of its own accord.

If the police can go after a cabinet minister then they can go after anyone and none of us is safe. If they can hold material that they were supposedly ordered to destroy then what material are they holding on the rest of us just on the off chance that they may decide to attack us one fine day just for jollies? 

We have to defend Damian Green because to throw him to the wolves means that the police have got away with doing in a senior member of the government. If they can do that to him then doing it to the rest of us is something that they will start to do as a matter of casual routine.

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