Tuesday November 6, 2018
Spooks break Wilson convention in anti-Brexit campaign

The Wilson doctrine prevents the security services (the spooks) from spying on MPs. Well that's the theory anyway.

In 2015 the Sunday Times reported that the doctrine was effectively 'dead' so the Government was going to ban the spooks from directly spying on MPs. That seems to be yet another promise the government has failed to keep.

Even in 2015 there was considerable confusion about what spying meant, with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling that the "no bugging" pledge only applied to the direct monitoring of an MP's phone.

Roll forward to this month and the Sunday Times now reports that Brexiteer MPs are putting microwaves in their offices so that they can put their phones in them to prevent the spooks from monitoring their conversations. Personal note: microwaves are ineffective. The MPs should use desktop fridges.

The Sunday Times also says Eurosceptic MPs are meeting face to face rather than sending emails, in order to make it as difficult as possible for the spooks to monitor them.

The newspaper says that David Davis MP asked for a secure mobile phone when he was Brexit secretary and was told he could not have one. Just what a secure phone might be is a mystery. See Locking out hackers may be a crime.

Posted by Jonathan Brind.
Monday November 6, 2018