Archive | October 28, 2015

U.S. Senate Passes CISA Bill without Amendments*

U.S. Senate Passes CISA Bill without Amendments*

The U.S. Senate yesterday voted to pass the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). However it rejected all the five amendments to it. The five amendments, which would have restrained law enforcement from abusing the bill’s powers as well as made corporations more accountable for their roles in protecting consumer information were rejected by a majority vote.

The CISA bill passed the Senate with a 74 – 21 vote (it needed 60). It must now do the same in the House before being either signed into law or vetoed by the President.

CISA is the Senate version of the House’s equally-unpopular CISPA bill that passed earlier this year in a 288-127 vote but which the Senate has refused to take up. CISA, was reintroduced by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence after massive Sony hack attack earlier this year.

CISA compels companies to share information regarding cyber-attacks with one another and the government. This has riled privacy advocates and a number of tech companies, who contend that the initiative would allow the government to more easily spy on Americans.

The amendments

The Wyden Amendment, put forth by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) that required companies to remove any personally identifiable information (PII) so long as it doesn’t relate to the investigation at hand and its removal does not hinder law enforcement efforts was rejected with a vote of 41 – 55.

Senator Heller had an amendment that was basically a backstop against the Wyden amendment, saying that if the Wyden amendment didn’t pass, Homeland Security would be responsible for removing such personal information. That amendment also failed by a 49 to 47 vote. Senator Leahy had an amendment that would have removed FOIA exemptions in the bill (making it much less transparent how CISA was used). That amendment was voted down 59 to 37. Senator Franken then had an amendment that would have “tightened” the definition of cybersecurity threats, so that the shared information needed to be “reasonably likely” to cause damage, as opposed to the current “may” cause damage. And (you guess it, because you’re good at this), it was also voted down by a 60 to 35 vote.


These are the Senators who voted yes on a surveillance bill in disguise:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lankford (R-OK)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Perdue (R-GA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Sasse (R-NE)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Warner (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)

Related Topics:

Global Governance and Internet Control*

No Debate on Congress Passing Police Unlimited Access to Citizens’ Private Communications*

European Parliament Votes against Net Neutrality*

A Worldwide Coalition against Surveillance is Expanding*

Federal Cybersecurity Head Convicted Of Child Porn Charges*

Brazil Passes ‘Internet Constitution’ Ahead of Global Conference*

Reset the Net’s Report*

A Worldwide Coalition against Surveillance is Expanding*

A Worldwide Coalition against Surveillance is Expanding*

By Matthew Rice

In the wider civil society space, the opportunities for travel come thick and fast. From the multi-stakeholder perspective, the Internet Governance Forum will be held during November in João Pessoa, Brazil. There is the Stockholm Internet Forum  in, naturally, Stockholm. In freedom of expression there is the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Strategy Conference in Trinidad & Tobago, while End Violence Against Women International’s conference will be held in Washington in March 2016. What doesn’t happen often is an opportunity for these weary travellers to meet in one place and discuss their backgrounds, their similarities, their differences. This is what excites me about the upcoming World Forum for Democracy, which will be organised by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 18-20 November 2015. It will be an occasion to meet new people, to bring more minds to think about how surveillance affects their work as well as them as individuals within our and their society, and to discover what the right to privacy means to them.

Building coalitions working on surveillance has reached a new stage. We now have a strong international network of organisations from diverse countries already representing an impressive array of stakeholders across disciplines. That took time and effort to build. The next phase is to push even further the diversity in background and discipline of organisations engaged in these debates as we advocate for the protection of the right to privacy as a fundamental human right.


While the focus of privacy and surveillance in the media has been on the deeply important Edward Snowden revelations, building a global network has provided an opportunity to move away from the simplified nexus of NSA and GCHQ. Casting an eye around the world we see organisations making gains in elevating their national discourse around privacy and pushing governments to make changes. In Pakistan, a successful challenge against the dangerously bad Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill because of its lack of inclusion of civil society in the debate led to the postponement of the bill and a consultation with the previously frozen out groups. Alongside this, exposing Pakistan’s Inter-Security Intelligence agency’s proposal for a mass surveillance system helped to drive national debate on what is a proportionate interference with the right to privacy, which involved local groups such as the Digital Rights Foundation, Bytes 4 All and Bolo Bhi.

In Colombia, the release of two investigative reports into the shadowy world of intelligence agencies has provided organisations in the country with the opportunity to question their own representatives about their knowledge of surveillance capabilities. A meeting of the intelligence commission, the committee that oversees the work of Colombian intelligence agencies, in early October was too coincidental to not have been influenced by the work of organisations like the Karisma Foundation in beginning discussions with lawmakers directly and delivering the reports to the relevant stakeholders.

Only five years ago, these stories of civil society stirring debates on privacy and national security wouldn’t have been possible.

It has taken years for this global network to form. Privacy International began the conversation through work in Asia in mid-2008. This is often referred to as the first time that the right to privacy had been discussed with organisations in the region, such as the Centre for Internet and Society in India, or the Foundation for Media Alternatives in the Philippines. Those first conversations have come a long way, as shown by the development of initiatives like the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, which has been signed by 420 organisations from around the world, as well as the expansion of Privacy International across continents from Latin America to Africa and Asia.

Discovering new allies

Establishing this global network required the identification of an ideal type of partnering organisation. It was to be either engaged in research or activism, with a focus on policy relating to modern forms of communication like the internet. An interest in law, the state, and the effect of the private sector helped too. Now, this ideal type is being rewritten, expanded with new characteristics.

Coalition development is in a new phase. Groups outside of the field of internet governance and ‘digital rights’ are now becoming involved in the debate about privacy and surveillance. In Britain, the role of organisations focused on victim support and child protection are starting to taking an active role in the discussions about the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill, which will spell out the powers of the security services to conduct surveillance and associated safeguards. Other civil society actors will be represented in the coalition Don’t Spy On Us, which includes organisations such as Privacy International, Open Rights Group, Liberty, Big Brother Watch, Article 19 and English PEN, and which has helped to expand the base of participants in the discussions.

Journalist groups have been growing in their presence also. Press Gazette’s Save Our Sources campaign focused on the protection of the anonymity of sources after the unlawful use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to identify the source of a story from The Sun. The National Union of Journalists has also been running a campaign on these issues for over a year.

The global network has continued to expand its address book too. In Chile, Derechos Digitales has been reaching out to indigenous communities threatened with displacement from their land to discuss the effect surveillance has had on their work. Meanwhile, in South Africa, the Right 2 Know Campaign published a series of case studies on the harassment of various activists, community leaders, think tanks and local unions by intelligence agencies.

These past few years have shown groups from different professional backgrounds and operating at different scales, either nationally or internationally, have become more engaged in the topic of surveillance. This is both a natural and a necessary development. As our lives are increasingly dependent upon the use of technology to communicate, and the devices we carry broadcast information about us even when we are not using them, the discussion on privacy and surveillance needs to reach all areas of society.

The idea to be presented at the World Forum for Democracy is built on the back of this international movement. Currently, national jurisdictions around the world make a distinction between the communications of a national and those of a non-national, and afford them with different human rights protection. In our increasingly interconnected world, this distinction is a big hurdle to the realisation of a meaningful right to privacy, without discrimination. By introducing a right to privacy through interference based jurisdiction – where states owe a negative obligation not to interfere with a person’s communication – our right to privacy will travel with the communications we send.

The success of this idea requires a worldwide, international movement with diverse voices, who will work towards this change using the skills and experiences acquired in their own work, whether that is through strategic litigation, policy development or community organising. All skills and approaches have a role to play in realising the right to privacy across the world.

As I look at the programme for the World Forum for Democracy, and at the different Labs to be held, I see an opportunity to continue to expand this coalition, as well as to learn from other groups’ experiences of building similar movements. Labs organised by interfaith, intercultural, or anti-hate groups bring together people that Privacy International would not normally cross paths with. Meeting new ideas and perspectives on how to achieve change – this is where creativity sparks.

The past few years have exposed Privacy International’s area of work to different cultures, different contexts and different challenges. It has been for the better. The participation of PI, along with some of its partners, in the World Forum for Democracy appears set to carry on this trend.


Related Topics:

European Parliament Votes against Net Neutrality*

GCHQ gets Green Light to Spy on MPs*

GCHQ and MI5 Exploit Lawyer-Client Privilege*

Google, the NSA & DHS are Creating a Global DNA Database*

NSA-linked Software that can Hack into any Computer*

Locations of NSA Global Spy Stations*

U.S. Computer Makers Lose Markets Courtesy of NSA Spyware*

NSA Phone Surveillance Ruled Illegal, but will that Stop Them*

NSA’s Medical Intelligence Hit List*

Is Justice Finally Knocking at Facebook’s Spy Hole?*

Barbie: From Sexualizing Children to Spy*

Microsoft Adding Windows 10 Spyware to Windows 7 and 8*

U.K. City Installs ‘Giant Eyes’ to Spy on Citizens*

U.K. to Blanket City Streets with Wi-Fi via “Smart Pavement”*

Hackers Use Dridex Malware To Steal Millions From U.K. Bank Accounts*

European Court of Justice rules Facebook-U.S. Spy Web Data Agreement Invalid*

Court Reinstates Lawsuit Against NYPD Muslim Spying*

Australia Unleashes Mass Spying*

Treasury Suffers Humiliating Defeat as Lords back “common people”*

Treasury Suffers Humiliating Defeat as Lords back “common people”*

By John Ranson

In a move that raises serious questions over the authority of David Cameron’s government, the House of Lords has twice voted against the plan to cut tax credits next April.

Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell said it was “about fairness”, pointing out that George Osborne is continuing to pursue a programme of tax breaks for the wealthiest and that voters weren’t told before the general election that tax credits would be changed, potentially costing some people well over £1,000 a year.

A motion by crossbencher Baroness Meacher, calling for the cut to be delayed pending an impact assessment, was carried by 307 votes to 277. This is significant but not entirely unexpected. However, a more strident motion demanding agreement on a three year package of transitional financial help, tabled by Labour’s Baroness Hollis, was also passed, 289 to 272.

Some in the House of Commons are getting a bit shirty about being overruled by the Lords, but playing the democracy card seems a bit hollow given that the Conservatives weren’t elected on a tax credit-cutting platform.

Edward Leigh in Commons: not for 100 years has HoL defied this elected House, demands statement to protect rights of elected representatives

— Ross Hawkins (@rosschawkins) October 26, 2015

George Osborne, seen as the prime mover behind the unpopular policy, is trying to make the constitutional issue into the big story but there seems to be a conciliatory note entering his tone on tax credits. Perhaps he’s realising just how far adrift of public opinion he’s been on this topic, although the message has been pretty clear from both Tory and Labour voters and even some of his own MPs. There has been talk of a “Poll Tax moment” and certainly these events will have dented both the immediate plans of the government and perhaps the longer-term ambitions of its chancellor.

George Osborne’s #taxcredits defeat tonight was long coming, but he refused to see it. Flawed personal judgement, a serious reputation blow.

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) October 26, 2015


Related Topics:

Food Poverty in the U.K. Causing Soar in ‘Victorian’ Illnesses*

U.K. Economy Ranked Below Zimbabwe by World Economic Forum*

U.K. Pensions to Fund Budget Cuts*

Boundary Changes in U.K. will Swing in Favour of Current Regime*

U.K. Setting Children up for Failure*

Quest to Kill Human Rights Act in U.K.*

U.K. Magistrate Resigns over New Court Fee that Forces Innocent to Plead Guilty’*

Courage to Create Good in the World*

A Day after the U.K. Elections Protestors Marched on Westminster*

Ballot Rigging in the U.K.*

U.K.’s “Anti-extremism” Plan Brings Repression at Home and War Abroad*

Washington Preventing Iraq from Turning to Moscow*

Washington Preventing Iraq from Turning to Moscow*

Russian-led counterterrorism efforts are so successful that they are “unnerving” Washington, CCTV reported. As a result, last week U.S. leadership decided to act so as to prevent Iraq from fostering ties with Moscow.

The Chinese media outlet believes that the operation to free hostages in Northern Iraq followed this new logic. Last Thursday, U.S. and Kurdish forces managed to free 70 people from a prison located to the west of Kirkuk. The operation saw the United States lose its first soldier in combat since Obama launched the campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy Islamic State.

This mission raised questions over Washington’s plans in Iraq. On Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter tried to dispel fears of the possible  mission creep by saying that the U.S. was not “assuming a combat role” and the operation was “a continuation of our advise-and-assist mission.”

However, Carter stated that similar missions, which redefine assistance if not blur the line between combat and training, could be conducted in the future.

The operation took place on the same day as Vladimir Putin’s approval rating hit a new high reaching 89.9 percent. The Russian leader is increasingly popular at home due to his efforts to help solve the Syrian crisis, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) explained.

However, Putin’s campaign, which has both diplomatic and military components, does not go unnoticed outside of Russia and especially in the Middle East.

CCTV believes that the US-led hostage rescue operation was a show of force aimed at Iraq’s leadership. The mission was meant to send a clear message to Baghdad, which is rumoured to be planning to ask Moscow for greater assistance in its fight against Islamic State.

Iraq’s concerns are reasonable. After more than 12 months of US-led airstrikes ISIL still controls large parts of Northern Iraq, including the second largest city in the country, Mosul.

Meanwhile, extremists are reported to be fleeing from key areas in Syria largely due to the Russian-led aerial campaign, which was launched less than a month ago.

The United States, according to the media outlet, will not let Iraq leave the fold.


Related Topics:

Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World*

U.S. and Israel is Managing Combat Operations for ISIS and al Nusra in Iraq, Syria*

Iraqi Security Forces Find Mass Graves of ISIS Members*

Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq*

Iraqi Forces Arrest ISIL’s US, Israeli Military Advisors*

Iraqi Forces have been Busy doing what U.S. Fails to Do*

Iraqi Shia Militia Rejects U.S. Enforcements in Anbar*

U.S Helping ISIS in Iraq*

U.S. Delivery of Missiles to ISIS Seized by Iraq*

U.S. and Israel is Managing Combat Operations for ISIS and al Nusra in Iraq, Syria*

ISIL fighters’ Given Death Sentences for Iraq Massacre*

Iraq Agrees to Share Intelligence with Russia, Iran and Syria against ISIS*

Top Shia Cleric behind Iraq’s anti-Corruption Drive*



Syrian Army Liberates 50 Villages in Aleppo Province*

Syrian Army Liberates 50 Villages in Aleppo Province*

The Syrian Army, with the support of armed militia fighters, has liberated 50 villages in the south-east of Aleppo province, a militia source said Tuesday.

According to the source, residents of at least two villages had begun returning to their households to clear the rubble.

“Yesterday, the army advanced deep towards the Idlib province. We have liberated some 50 villages and took hold of an area of about 120 square kilometres [some 46 sq. miles],” a source from the Desert Hawks armed militia group told RIA Novosti.

The Desert Hawks was formed at the start of the crisis in Syria four years ago, by retired Syrian army officer Mohamed Jaber. The unit consists of between 4 and 5 thousand people, comprised of fighters of various religions and from all regions of the country.  All of the actions of the militia are fully coordinated with the Syrian army, RIA Novosti reported.

Earlier, reports from the Iranian Fars News Agency suggested more than 800,000 Syrian refugees were expected to return to their homes, thanks in part to Russia’s military operation in Syria.

The latest data shows Russian fighter jets have destroyed 285 ISIL and al-Nusra Front targets in Syria over the past three days. The military operation started on September 30 after Syrian president Bashar Assad sent Russian authorities an official request.


Related Topics:

Syrian Army Kills al-Nusra Leader*

Three Days of Bombing Russia hits 258 IS Targets, no Civilian Casualties*

U.S. Playing Games Whilst Russia Strike 72 Terrorist Targets in Syria*

Quartet Meeting agreed on External Support Formula for Political Process in Syria*

Syrian Army Seizes Control of Al-Amal Farms in Golan Heights*

Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World*

U.S. and Israel is Managing Combat Operations for ISIS and al Nusra in Iraq, Syria*

Iraqi Security Forces Find Mass Graves of ISIS Members*

Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq*

1000s March against NATO War Games in Italy, Spain*

U.S. Provoking War in South China Sea*

Courage to Create Good in the World*

Courage to Create Good in the World*

By Frosty Wooldridge

Henry David Thoreau said, “The masses of men (and women) live lives of quiet desperation.”

That equates to the fact that most people lack the courage or incentive to get involved with the great events of life within their communities, states or nations.

When you attended high school or college, did you join a demonstration for or against something? How about a debate club where you stood up for something you felt needed a champion? Do you watch television nightly with a sense of despair because you can’t do anything about the events streaming before your eyes?

Edmund Burke summed it up, “All that is necessary for triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing.”

Average Americans fit the statistics that nine out of ten people lack courage to stand up or speak out or take action against events they deem wrong, immoral or unacceptable. They swallow their frustrations. They cower behind their TV sets. They complain to their friends. They gnash their teeth, but take no actions to change the situation they perceive to be wrong. In other words, they prove Burke’s contention for evil’s triumph.

If you look around the world, average citizens fail to speak up when bad leaders become so corrupt that their countries falter, fail and degrade. Just one look on the international stage shows the results nightly on the news.

Environmentally, huge corporations commit heinous acts of poisoning the natural world with chemicals, genetically modified foods and a host of pollutants that damage every living creature on the planet.

They get away with it when average citizens fail to speak up, or write up or engage in groups to counter the “triumph of evil.”

Every human being can act to right a wrong. Every person can change an event to the good. Each of us enjoys the capacity of free speech, free choice and constructive action.

While you may eschew national issues, you may engage in a community project with your leadership to build a playground, feed the hungry or volunteer as an aide at your local school. The list of things you can do to create good grows by the day in this harried world.

Something happens when you provoke truth within your community on whatever you feel passionate about. It becomes contagious. It inspires others. It drives others to action.

My father said

“,When you speak up on something you feel passionate about, you will be amazed that a thousand other people feel the same way, but are afraid to speak up. When you speak up, you give them courage and you give them voice. So, don’t sit around on your butt son; get out there and make a difference in the world.”

Understand these points:

  • You know the truth when you feel, understand or hear it.
  • You feel a sigh of relief when you hear and speak the truth; others feel it, too, when you take the courage to speak it.
  • Yes, you will experience resistance; use it and work with it toward your ultimate objective.
  • Know that when you speak the truth and take action toward the truth—to right a wrong or vanquish something evil—you gain the energy of the universe or Providence or whatever you may consider “power for good.”
  • Remember that “universal energy” conspires to work with you for truth and goodness you desire.
  • As you take action, you will find commonality among others that want to work with you.

Examples abound: a commoner named Gandhi walked 1,000 miles to the sea to free his country from colonial rule. Dr. Martin Luther King marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to bring freedom for downtrodden people worldwide. Jane Goodall continues to work for the natural world. Chad Pragracke cleaned up the Mississippi River. Maggie Doyne created orphanages and schools in Asia for the dispossessed. Martha Graham created new forms of dance. Lori Bell rides a bicycle across the USA for peace.

Those ordinary people engaged extraordinary determination to make incredible changes in human history for good. Start in your own community today or take on the world tomorrow. You possess the power to change humanity for the better.


Related Topics:

Turning the Tide — Our Time is Now*

Politics as Therapy: They want us to be just Sick Enough not to Fight Back*

20,000 Doctors Protest in London*

Thousands Stage anti-Israel Rally in Morocco*

Zionists Argue for the Boycott of Israel*

1000s March against NATO War Games in Italy, Spain*

A Small Act of kindness Disarms anti-Muslim Protester.*

Parents Call Nevada School Vouchers Illegal*

Copy of Missing Dossier on Paedophile Ring Handed to MP*

Johnny Depp Intends to Buy Site of Wounded Knee Massacre and Gift it Back to the Native American People*

U.S. Citizens March on CDC Headquarters to Protest Vaccine Corruption*

Students of Univ of Maine Refuse to Hand over their Vaccination Records*

Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections without Voters*

African Princess Bringing Solar Power to Millions*

The Spirit of Sankara Resurges in Burkina Faso*

U.S. Anti-Islam Rallies ‘Fizzles’ Nationwide*

‘Justice or Else’ Muslim-led Million Man March Hits Washington*

Paediatrician Admits ADHD is ‘Made Up,’ but Prescribes Meds Anyway*

Citizens of Dominican Republic Disconnect and Return Smart Meters*

Hundreds of Refugees in Germany Vanish without a Trace*

Hundreds of Refugees in Germany Vanish without a Trace*

Roughly seven hundred of 4,000 asylum-seekers who had been initially accommodated in the German state of Lower Saxony have mysteriously disappeared, and because of administrative breakdowns, local authorities are clueless about who and where they are.

The staggering figures were revealed by local officials in the northwest German state by a survey conducted by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) newspaper. Because many of the refugees hadn’t been registered yet, nothing is known about who they are or where they might have gone.

Some have speculated that the immigrants departed from the mostly rural province to either reunite with their relatives or to look for more attractive places to stay elsewhere in Germany or even abroad, according to the Local. Others point to failures to provide adequate housing for refugees.

Moreover, refugees are often disoriented after arriving in Bavaria.

“Most of the time they don’t know where they are. We recently put up a map of Germany so they can orientate themselves,” Timo Frers, spokesman for the town of Delmenhorst, Lower Saxony, told the Local.

In Lingen, an hour and a half west of Delmenhorst, nearly half of the 212 immigrants initially placed in the local refugee centre left and moved on to undisclosed locations soon after arriving, according to officials.

German officials slammed the current situation, stressing the need to get all people looking for asylum in Germany registered promptly once they’ve entered the country. Angelika Jahn, a spokeswoman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that non-compliance to that rule is “unacceptable.”

According to the Federal Ministry of Labour, some 300,000 immigrants arriving in Germany are expected to move on to other European states.


Related Topics:

Indonesia Welcomes Rohingya Refugees*

Wedding Invitation: 4,000 Syrian Refugees*

Is Dropping More Bombs on Syria the Way to Solve the Refugee Crisis?*

Four out of Five Migrants are NOT from Syria*

The Western Migrants Fleeing to the South and Destroying It*

The Hilton Complicit in Human Trafficking

Food Poverty in the U.K. Causing Soar in ‘Victorian’ Illnesses*

Food Poverty in the U.K. Causing Soar in ‘Victorian’ Illnesses*

By Dean Kirby

While cases of malnutrition doubled in the four years to 2014, there has been a rise in diseases that were rife in the Victorian era such as scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough Photo credit: Corbis

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50% in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of food banks, said they saw

“tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy”.

“We meet families from across the U.K. struggling to put enough food on the table and, at the extreme end, you get people who are malnourished,” he said.

“We often see parents who are going without food so that they can feed their children, and these parents often struggle to afford enough nutritious food for their children, too. We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry in the U.K., which is why we’re working to engage the public, other charities and politicians across parties to find solutions to the underlying causes of food poverty.”

Dianne Jeffrey, who chairs the Malnutrition Task Force, an independent expert group, and charity Age U.K., said the rise in hospital admissions for malnutrition was “deeply distressing”.

“Older people and professionals often incorrectly assume that losing weight and having a reduced appetite are just a normal part of ageing,” she said.

“Much malnutrition is preventable, so it is totally unacceptable that estimates suggest there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. Cuts to social care mean many older people are being left to cope on their own.”

The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that in worst-affected areas – Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – 2.4 people out of every 100,000 were admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of malnutrition.

Admissions for malnutrition nationally were highest among men in their sixties, followed by those aged over 80, and among women in their fifties, followed by those in their forties. Patients admitted with gout have also increased by 60.5%, from 65,387 from August 2010 to July 2011 to 104,972 in the same period in 2014 to 2015.

The Fabian Society has accused the Government of lacking a strategy to combat food poverty and said proposed tax-credit cuts could become a bigger driver of food insecurity than low wages.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said:

“Unless the Government backs down over tax-credit cuts, we are likely to see the number of malnourished people climb.”


Related Topics:

Big Bank Food Speculation: U.K. Blocks Move to End Rising Prices*

U.K. – So that he could get Food to Eat in a Police Cell!

UK: Food Banks under Pressure During School Holidays*

Food Aid for Brits Courtesy of the Red Cross*

Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins

The Depletion of your Nutritional Food Content is Intentional*

Food Poverty in UK ‘more shocking’ than Africa says Archbishop of Canterbury*

The British Cafe that has Fed 10,000 People, using 20 Tonnes of Unwanted Food*

Criminalizing Healthy Food Paves Way for TPP*

European Supermarket Giant to Offer Unsold Food to Those in Need*

Britain’s Hunger Crisis Sparks First Student-Led Food Bank*

Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Spreads in Northern England*

U.K. Economy Ranked Below Zimbabwe by World Economic Forum*