Ferdia2010's Weblog

Gerard's blog

Archive for October 2008

A rather odd introduction on France 24.

leave a comment »

Just noticed something on French channel France 24, at around 6.30 -7.00 am this morning. The presenter introduced another journalist with the words “Standing by with the begging bowl is our reporter Damien McGuinness ” she obviously thought the reporter was Irish !! Anyway a flabbergasted English man comes on looking like he was of two minds whether or not to do the report  !!! (also looking like if he had a vote on Lisbon he wouldn’t be voting yes. )

Ooh my you should have seen the look on your man’s face …. I had a good laugh the whole morning .. ha.. ha ha he he !!


Written by ferdia2010

October 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Who’s reading your email ? ( part II )

leave a comment »

More from the Irish Council of Civil Liberties.

Dear G,

Please find below information on the current law in Ireland regarding the interception and retention of mobile phone records and emails.  The ICCL will publish a report on Privacy in Ireland before the end of the year and if you would like to receive a copy of the report, please let us know and we can email/or post a copy accordingly.


The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 provides the legal basis in Ireland for the authorised interception of post and wiretaps.  The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform may authorise an interception for the purpose of criminal investigation concerning a serious offence.  It is necessary that more conventional methods of investigation have failed or are likely to fail and that the interception would be of material assistance.  Warrants for interception may also be executed where a serious offence has been apprehended but has yet to be carried out. The warrant authorising the interception remains valid for a period of 3 months; however, this may be extended by the Minister for a further period of 3 months.

This legislation does not cover many aspects of current communications life such as mobile phone location information and the interception of emails.


Part VII of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 sets out the legal basis for the retention of telecommunications data in Ireland.  The legislation is concerned with the retention of records relating to the transmission of fixed line and mobile communications.  It covers both call logs and location information; however, it does not apply to the content of the communications.  Under the Act, the Garda Commissioner can ask a service provider to retain phone records for 3 years for the purpose of the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of crime that includes but is not limited to terrorist offences and safeguarding the security of the State.  A designated High Court judge will be appointed to review the operation of the 2005 Act and to determine whether the Gardaí and the Defence Forces are complying with the provisions.  The judge has the power to investigate any case in which disclosure is made and to inspect any official documents or records relating to the request.

The implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive will allow for the storage of internet information also.  ISPs will be required to record the date and time that users connect and disconnect as well as the IP address allocated to individual users (as well as other information).  The Directive provides that the information be retained for 24 months so the Irish 2005 Act would have to be amended.  However, the Irish government are currently challenging the Directive in the European Court of Justice as they believe that proper procedures were not used in passing the Directive into law.  At the same time, an Irish civil rights group, Digital Rights Ireland (with the Irish Human Rights Commission as a party to the case – a procedure that’s called amicus curiae) has also taken a case in the Irish courts on the basis that the European Data Retention Directive breaches fundamental human rights including, the right to privacy.  More information can be found about this case and the Irish government’s case at the website of Digital Rights Ireland at http://www.digitalrights.ie/.

In relation to your question about specialised computers installed in ISPs, I am not aware of this practice; however, I suggest that you contact Digital Rights Ireland as they are more familiar with technical issues.  However, we would be happy to answer any more questions you may have.

Joanne Garvey


Irish Council for Civil Liberties

9 – 13 Blackhall Place

Dublin 7

Phone: 01 7994504

Fax: 01 7994512

email: joanne.garvey@iccl.ie / info@iccl.ie

Written by ferdia2010

October 21, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Boom to Bust, Financial crisis and backlash to Budget.

leave a comment »

There has been a bad reaction to Brian Lenihan’s “Sheriff of Nottingham” style budget, particularly the reintroduction of the means test for over 70’s medical card and general attack on people’s incomes.

The boom of the last ten years has been largerly squandered and many will wonder where all the money went and why so comparatively little has been done. The dire economic situation hasn’t stopped Mr Lenihan from bailling out the banks with his guarantee, while not knowing the full extent of these’s banks bad debts.

There is quiet a strong possibility that the pension fund could be used to cover the bank’s liabilities especially if the economy declines significantly in 2009. Now that’s a real one to twist the gut, ordinary people’s money used to bail out the “fat cats” and which of course would be never be seen again. Indeed it is the same government’s out and out refusal to use the fund for public works such as railways, roads, new school buildings, hospital extensions etc … all of which which would help alleviate the employment situation and work that desperately needs to be done.

Written by ferdia2010

October 21, 2008 at 12:55 am

Posted in Ireland Economy

Budget 2009 (October 2008).

leave a comment »

Well there you have it Budget 2009, new taxes you can’t escape from (1% levy), more cutbacks and more charges, roadtax, engine fuel, hospital charges (both A&E and an increase in bed charges). Vat up by .5%, means test for over 70’s medical card. lovely budget really ?

I notice that are talking of taxing child benefit but despite it all that is no tax on Shell who are about to develop a highly profitable gas field off mayo. A great country for some …..

Written by ferdia2010

October 20, 2008 at 1:39 am

Posted in Ireland Economy

What happens.

with 2 comments

The economic outlook continues to look bleak, in fact its nearly as bad as the weather almost. With Dell’s plant in Limerick facing likely closure in the new year (talk of up to 10,000 jobs lost including suppliers and contractors) and Aer Lingus shedding 1,500 jobs in an effort to “yellow pack” the workforce. They are going to be tough times ahead for any job seekers.

The possible closure of Dell in Limerick will come as a huge blow to Limerick and the surrounding area’s but the writing has been on the wall for some time especially with the building of a new factory in Poland. In recent months it has been circulated that Dell wants to pull out of manufacturing altogether and get sub-contractors to build their computers for them.

What are people going to do ? A possible consideration would be a worker’s co-op, I think would be a idea rather than lay down and die kind of stuff. Jobs in computer assembly will be hard to come by, as it is all gone to low wage economies in the far east like China, Taiwan etc… If the workers got together and maybe some backing from the IDA/Shannon Development it might be worth a go.

Now for Aer Lingus, this airline was privatised with the state selling 75% of the airline and then giving the money raised to the company ( over €1 billion ) to buy airplanes or something like that. Well I haven’t seen Aer Lingus get new planes or even order them for that matter. One of the first actions it did after privatisation was pull the Heathrow slots out of Shannon despite making a profit on the route while leasing some of its slots at Heathrow to other airlines. Don’t think Aer Lingus made many friends for itself with that action. The management of the company seem to be doing their best to provoke the workers into industrial action either to break the unions or wind up the company or whatever. Anyway I believe it is time we got our €1 billion back.

Written by ferdia2010

October 9, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Economy

Response from Irish Council of Civil Liberties.

leave a comment »

Not exactly the response I was looking for but does have some interesting details here.

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Info <info@iccl.ie> wrote:
Good afternoon G,

Many thanks for your query.

I am not sure if you aware but quite recently the European Court of
Human Rights in Strasbourg found in our favour in a long-running case
regarding the interception of Irish communications in the United
Kingdom. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Liberty and
British-Irish Rights Watch took this case all the way to Strasbourg
because, over a seven year period, all telephone, fax, e-mail and data
communications between Ireland and the UK, including legally privileged
and confidential information, were intercepted and stored en masse by an
Electronic Test Facility operated by the British Ministry of Defence.

The ICCL initiated this case nine years ago, with partner organisations,
and welcomed this long-awaited vindication of our view that data
“fishing expeditions” by the intelligence services falls foul of Article
8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Could you provide more details on your specific query and I can try to
source some information for you?

Kind regards

Irish Council for Civil Liberties
9 – 13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7

Written by ferdia2010

October 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Brian Cowen in Paris.

with 2 comments

Our “ Glorious leader ” I see was on a trip to Paris and met his old pal Mr Sarkozy. No doubt they are hatching a new scheme on the rerunning of the Lisbon referendum. It is more or less certain that a new referendum will be held in the new year, most likely in March but definitely before the European elections.

One wonders whatever happened to that “kite” they flew during the summer. That they had some reason or other why they “ must have another referendum ” pretty arrogant what !!! but it then sank like the Titanic.

What happened ?

So you can send your own answers to this one on a postcard to the Dept of Justice, 94 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

Anyway did our “ Glorious leader ” have time to do a spot of begging afterwards !!!

Written by ferdia2010

October 2, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Lisbon II.