A letter a day to number 10. No 1,540
Thursday 01 September 2016.
Dear Mrs May,
From today people now need a license to watch BBC iPlayer, live or catch-up, and for all live viewing and recording, no matter which channel we are watching or what device we are watching on.
As someone who has no interest in watching television I refuse to participate in the BBC’s game of being guilty until proved innocent. I have for years now refused to allow television license ‘enforcement officers’ into my home stating that it is not my duty to prove my innocence, it is their job to prove my guilt.
Although the presumption of innocence has taken a beating with, not least, the escalation of on the spot fines, and CCTV cameras everywhere, it remains that the burden of proof lies with the accuser and not the accused.
The UK Criminal Law Blog seeks to clarify what the presumption of innocence means and has this to say, ‘The defendant bears no burden of proving anything and it is not his task to prove his innocence – There is no obligation for the defendant to do anything at all’. It goes on, ‘A person cannot be imprisoned (or otherwise punished) for a crime unless they have been proven guilty to the required standard’.
Whilst I do not own a television, I do own a personal computer on which televisual content is freely available. It is not my task to provide access to any data which may incriminate me or prove my innocence and I assert my right to privacy without harassment or interference from these so called television license ‘enforcement officers’.
It is the governments task and duty to ensure that the law is upheld, although that is an increasing dubious premise these days, and therefore to monitor the behaviour of the nations public broadcaster.
I call on you to demand the BBC produce, at the very least, a means of blocking BBC iPlayer from personal computers and other digital devices. If this cannot be done then people are going to be subjected to unwarranted and, indeed, unlawful harassment, distress and invasion of privacy. David Cameron said last year, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” No one should be allowed to behave above the law, least of all government, this is intolerable and unacceptable, making an ass of the law.