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June 3, 2013 / Hannah

The last POST?

On Friday, POSTnote 436: Monitoring Internet Communications went live on POST’s website!

Check it out.

The timing was pretty good: the debate is just getting going again in light of the tragic events in Woolwich. Some are claiming that the Communications Data Bill could have helped to avert this type of attack, while others argue the opposite. Meanwhile, the Home Office seems determined to push ahead with legislation, despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats and others.

The POSTnote itself has (predictably!) already divided opinions. Despite rigorous internal and external reviews, I suspect this is inevitable when such a controversial issue is discussed. Condensing such a complex subject into four pages was no easy task, and I spent many hours with those at POST who helped me with the drafting – discussing and rewriting it to make it as balanced as possible. There were many issues I would have liked to include which didn’t make the cut: most of which are covered in the excellent and detailed report from the Joint Committee (though when reading, be aware this was published in 2012, prior to recent developments).

On a lighter note (no pun intended…) I moved back home a couple of weeks ago after a final visit to POST’s offices to tie up loose ends. It’s great to be home, but I was very sad to leave POST. I made some great friends and had a fantastic time researching the note, spending time in a friendly workplace with some seriously smart people. If any PhD students are reading this, I’d highly recommend checking out fellowship opportunities!

As for whether this really is my last post: probably not. I’ve enjoyed blogging about my experiences and now I’m back to the PhD I’m going to try to keep it up. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading and giving me feedback in real life and online, I really appreciate it.

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