Heather Brooke quotes

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Heather Brooke

Birthdate: 1970

Heather Rose Brooke is a British-American journalist and freedom of information campaigner. Resident since the 1990s in the UK, she helped to expose the 2009 expenses scandal, which culminated in the resignation of House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin and several MPs standing down in 2010 general electionBrooke is Professor of Journalism at City University London's Department of Journalism. She is the author of Your Right to Know , The Silent State , and The Revolution Will Be Digitised . Wikipedia

„I want to put paid to this idea that if you've nothing to fear, you've nothing to hide.“

—  Heather Brooke

Attributed, Chatham House Talk (September 28, 2011)
Context: I want to put paid to this idea that if you've nothing to fear, you've nothing to hide. I interviewed a really interesting guy in this book. He ran the data campaign for the Obama election, when Obama was being elected. And what they do is they just harvest huge troves of databases. And they're doing it for the basis of trying to predict who might vote for Obama in the election. And he just took me through this whole data business – data brokerage, data dealing. And he showed me this 10,000... well, it was a 464 page dictionary, a data dictionary, with 10,000 data units in it. So that's for every person, it's 10,000 things that you could find out about that person. Their political association, if they drink Coke or Diet Coke, what sort of magazines do they subscribe to, have they ever had any court cases against them. It's just like a raft of stuff. The problem is, is how these things are used. It's fine if somebody wants to sell you some products, but increasingly states are accessing all this information. And they're building algorithms to try and predict criminals. … It's pretty well-known that the National Security Agency in America is building algorithms and it's taking all of these datasets and basically trying to predict who is going to be a problem for us in future. And to me that just seems an incredibly dangerous road for us to go down, that you’re no longer innocent until proven guilty. We’re starting to imagine or predict who is going to be a problem.

„National security is becoming the new word of God to which all must submit in blind obedience.“

—  Heather Brooke

Pages 236-237.
The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches From the Information War, 1st Edition
Context: Why, then, are the world's governments intent on controlling and regulating the Internet? Free speech is most threatening to authoritarian systems such as autocracies, militaries, the police and security services. Security services in principle exist for our protection but that is so only when they are accountable to the public for their considerable power. We are seeing a push by these agencies to move beyond the rule of law, to be accountable to no one but themselves. National security is becoming the new word of God to which all must submit in blind obedience. The decisions made, the liberties eroded, the crimes committed in the name of national security cannot be challenged because the information on which they are based remains secret.

„Security services in principle exist for our protection but that is so only when they are accountable to the public for their considerable power.“

—  Heather Brooke

Pages 236-237.
The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches From the Information War, 1st Edition
Context: Why, then, are the world's governments intent on controlling and regulating the Internet? Free speech is most threatening to authoritarian systems such as autocracies, militaries, the police and security services. Security services in principle exist for our protection but that is so only when they are accountable to the public for their considerable power. We are seeing a push by these agencies to move beyond the rule of law, to be accountable to no one but themselves. National security is becoming the new word of God to which all must submit in blind obedience. The decisions made, the liberties eroded, the crimes committed in the name of national security cannot be challenged because the information on which they are based remains secret.

„The press is not like any other business and what it sells shouldn't just be rehashed press releases or celebrity gossip, but the civic information necessary for people to understand their society and participate in it. It is a check on political and financial power, or at least it should be.“

—  Heather Brooke

Pages 72-73
The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches From the Information War, 1st Edition
Context: When a politician claims for example that 'crime is down' since he implemented a certain policy, it is the professional investigative journalist who knows the raw data on which this statement is based (criminal incident reports) and who asks for verification. He or she can then go to other sources to question the veracity of the data. The reason I specialise in the intricate details of bureaucracy isn't because I have a passion for paper-pushers, but rather because I need to know all the types of information collected, by whom and where they are stored so I can get my hands on them. A statement isn't a fact. Even when the person making the statement is an authority he or she still needs to provide evidence or proof that what they say is the truth and a professional journalist should be asking for this proof and supplying it for public scrutiny. All this accumulating of statements, data and information which then has to be verified takes time. But this is the only thing a journalist does that marks him out as a professional. It's the only reason anyone would choose a well-known newspaper's website over an unknown blog. The newspaper as a brand has built up, over time, a reputation for challenging the powerful and giving people meaningful, true information. The press is not like any other business and what it sells shouldn't just be rehashed press releases or celebrity gossip, but the civic information necessary for people to understand their society and participate in it. It is a check on political and financial power, or at least it should be.

„The reason I specialise in the intricate details of bureaucracy isn't because I have a passion for paper-pushers, but rather because I need to know all the types of information collected, by whom and where they are stored so I can get my hands on them.“

—  Heather Brooke

Pages 72-73
The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches From the Information War, 1st Edition
Context: When a politician claims for example that 'crime is down' since he implemented a certain policy, it is the professional investigative journalist who knows the raw data on which this statement is based (criminal incident reports) and who asks for verification. He or she can then go to other sources to question the veracity of the data. The reason I specialise in the intricate details of bureaucracy isn't because I have a passion for paper-pushers, but rather because I need to know all the types of information collected, by whom and where they are stored so I can get my hands on them. A statement isn't a fact. Even when the person making the statement is an authority he or she still needs to provide evidence or proof that what they say is the truth and a professional journalist should be asking for this proof and supplying it for public scrutiny. All this accumulating of statements, data and information which then has to be verified takes time. But this is the only thing a journalist does that marks him out as a professional. It's the only reason anyone would choose a well-known newspaper's website over an unknown blog. The newspaper as a brand has built up, over time, a reputation for challenging the powerful and giving people meaningful, true information. The press is not like any other business and what it sells shouldn't just be rehashed press releases or celebrity gossip, but the civic information necessary for people to understand their society and participate in it. It is a check on political and financial power, or at least it should be.

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„The movement of radical transparency and accountability is not about putting a new person in charge, it’s about getting rid of the whole idea of hierarchal politics. It’s about decentralizing power.“

—  Heather Brooke

International Journalism Festival http://www.journalismfestival.com/news/heather-brooke-antitrust-legislation-needed-to-keep-the-internet-free/ Interview with Fabio Chiusi, 12 April 2012.
Attributed, In the Media

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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