Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 10 April 2024

Digital information bill could grant UK Government extraordinary financial surveillance powers ahead of decision on whether a CBDC will be introduced

Big Brother Watch has been running a campaign called “No Spycoin” to alert the public to the risks of the UK implementing a central bank digital currency (“CBDC”).

Last year Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties campaign group fighting for a free future, published a detailed report examining the impact on citizens of CDBC projects in various countries. None of the projects passed the test of preserving privacy and prohibiting surveillance.

Although the Bank of England and the Government stated in January that no decision has been made to pursue a CBDC, also called a digital pound, in the same announcement it was proclaimed that “work will continue during the design phase exploring its feasibility and potential design choices.” To do this work, three years ago the Digital Pound Taskforce was created to work on the digital pound and related CBDC policy. Despite claiming no decision has been made, it seems they are indeed pursuing a CBDC.

Meanwhile, a bill is moving through Parliament which could grant the Government extraordinary new financial surveillance powers. Is it just a coincidence?

Seven Key Issues Relating to CBDCs
Recently, Big Brother Watch made a short video to explain the serious problems for those who live in the UK with implementing a digital pound.

“A UK CBDC would have a major impact on this country,” they said and identified seven key issues.

1. A CBDC is a solution in search of a problem.

2. Privacy intrusion – Generalised surveillance of CBDC transactions would be inevitable given the context of the current legal landscape, particularly counter-terror law, anti-money laundering law and investigatory powers law.

3. Programmable money and financial control – The potential to program the public’s personal finances or welfare payments could lead to financial control, an invasion of privacy, potentially a breach of the right to protection of property and, depending on the limitations set, could pose a serious threat to a range of other fundamental rights – from freedom of expression to freedom of assembly and protection from discrimination.

4. Digital ID, CBDC and discrimination – It is nigh on impossible to issue a UK CBDC without a comprehensive digital identity system. Combining digital identity and CBDCs poses a serious risk of surveillance, security breaches, hacking/identity theft, and discrimination.

5. Data exploitation – The consultation points out that providers can use personal data to “develop marketing activities” and “tailor products and services”.

Exploiting personal data in this way would endorse mass surveillance and exploitation of the public’s sensitive personal data, further shrinking the private sphere in a growing digital panopticon.

6. Security risks – A centralised CBDC system would create a huge platform of population data and, as such, become a “critical piece of national infrastructure”. This would provide hostile state and non-state actors with a large target to focus cyberattacks on.

Combining digital identity and CBDC poses a serious risk of security breaches and hacking/identity theft and a successful breach could put the entire public at risk.

7. Undemocratic – The decision to develop a UK CBDC should not be made by the Bank of England and HM Treasury alone – yet the pilot planned for 2025 seems to minimise parliamentary involvement.

The Government has now committed to introducing primary legislation with a vote in both Houses of Parliament before launching a digital pound.

Read More: Digital information bill could grant UK Government extraordinary financial surveillance powers

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