06/03/2012 Newsnight


06/03/2012

Jeremy Paxman asks if the Mansion Tax will happen. A look inside the hackers of Anonymous and we ask if the government will save the Green Belt. Plus Mark Urban returns to Libya.


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Transcript


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An Englishman's home isn't just his castle, if Vince Cable gets his way

:00:11.:00:17.

it will be a Government cash cow. A fortnight ahead of the budget, the

:00:18.:00:21.

idea is floated that everyone with a big house should be taxed on its

:00:21.:00:25.

value. It is the most expensive thing most of us would ever buy,

:00:25.:00:28.

the change would be from being taxed on what you earn, to being

:00:28.:00:33.

taxed on what you own. As an idea, is it either desirable, or even

:00:33.:00:36.

workable. Our political editor has learned

:00:36.:00:42.

what's happened to another highly contentious Government plan. I have

:00:42.:00:45.

learned the Government's controversial planning laws will go

:00:45.:00:52.

ahead, despite hints of a re-think. The alleged leader of two of the

:00:52.:00:56.

most famous and prolific hacking groups in the world, Anonymous and

:00:56.:01:01.

LulzSec, is unmasked as an FBI informant. The woman privvy to the

:01:01.:01:05.

secrets of the happy hacking movement, talks for the first time.

:01:05.:01:10.

What happens to you when you end up on the wrong side of the Arab

:01:10.:01:15.

Spring? We go to the last place that fell to the Libyan uprising.

:01:15.:01:21.

This was Gaddafi's grandiose vision of a capital for Africa, now it has

:01:21.:01:24.

been ripped apart, I will be talking to the people of the

:01:24.:01:34.
:01:34.:01:37.

We are all in this together, but some of us ought to be more in it

:01:37.:01:41.

than others, that is the implication of remarks today from

:01:41.:01:46.

the Business Secretary, Vince Cable? One of those, "hey I'm just

:01:46.:01:48.

thinking allowed" which drive his Conservative colleagues up the wall,

:01:48.:01:53.

he mused that maybe there was case for getting rid of the 50p rate of

:01:53.:01:58.

income tax, paid by anyone earning over �150,000 a year, and in return,

:01:58.:02:06.

maybe people's wealth should be taxed, essentially a tax on their

:02:06.:02:13.

houses. The respectable pile, or mansion,

:02:13.:02:19.

as Vince Cable would call it, of the composer Hubert Parry, nestled

:02:19.:02:23.

in the expensive Kensington square, right next door another honoured

:02:23.:02:30.

home, John Stuart Mill, architect of the liberal thought. He's the

:02:31.:02:36.

architect of a wealth tax, which his descendant and lookalike has

:02:36.:02:43.

morphed into a mansion tax. He says the dream must be realised, he said

:02:43.:02:50.

a mansion tax must be exchanged for dropping the 50p tax. If the 50p

:02:50.:02:53.

tax rate were to go, it should be replaced by taxation of wealth,

:02:53.:02:57.

because the wealthy people in the country have to pay their share,

:02:57.:03:01.

and the mansion tax is an economically sensible way of doing

:03:01.:03:06.

it. Lord Newby is a Lib Dem peer, champion of the mansion tax, and

:03:06.:03:09.

friend to the Business Secretary. How important is this to the Lib

:03:09.:03:12.

Dems and what they get from Government? It is one of the things

:03:12.:03:16.

we fought the last election on, we are keen it should be implemented.

:03:16.:03:19.

We think it is particularly important to do it if the

:03:20.:03:22.

Government contemplating on reducing the 50p tax rate. We think

:03:22.:03:26.

in the long run you should do that, but now isn't the time to do it,

:03:26.:03:29.

particularly unless you do something like a mansion tax, which

:03:29.:03:32.

means that people at the really top end of the income and wealth scale

:03:32.:03:38.

are paying their fair share. John Stuart Mills house is worth

:03:38.:03:42.

under �2 million, next door his neighbour's is worth just over,

:03:42.:03:47.

that is the stark contrast that really worries the Tories. They

:03:47.:03:50.

think up and down the country you will have neighbour pitched against

:03:50.:03:55.

neighbour over the value of their homes. This is a recipe for a big

:03:55.:03:59.

judicial review, according to one critic, it will bring not much

:03:59.:04:04.

money and a lot of grief. For many Tory MPs they won't accept this

:04:04.:04:08.

policy. I'm opposed to a mansion tax, although it will affect few

:04:08.:04:11.

people in my constituency, it is a tax against aspiration. I have

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often thought of the people who are sometimes in these rather expensive

:04:15.:04:20.

houses now, a lot are asset rich and cash poor, and may have

:04:20.:04:25.

acquired the house some time ago. The last thing I want to see is a

:04:25.:04:35.
:04:35.:04:41.

widow being turfed out of her house The UK brings in the most from

:04:41.:04:44.

property than any OECD countries. The think-tank offered research

:04:44.:04:50.

showing the top 1.6% of property sales yielded 26% of all stamp duty,

:04:50.:04:59.

and the top 0.7% of homes, contributes 36% of inheritance tax.

:04:59.:05:02.

Whatever the numbers, the Lib Dems are at home on this agenda, and for

:05:02.:05:07.

the other parties, the central John Stuart Mills website, that wealth,

:05:07.:05:10.

not income, should be taxed, is broadly compelling. I would prefer

:05:10.:05:15.

to look at something that they have in some parts of Australia, which

:05:15.:05:21.

is a land tax that exempts people's main homes, and exempts farmland,

:05:21.:05:25.

but it basically bears down on people who have second homes, and

:05:25.:05:29.

also on property companies who are sitting on large land banks. I

:05:29.:05:32.

think that is probably a better form of wealth tax. It is fairer,

:05:32.:05:37.

it doesn't run into this little old lady in a big house problem. We

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should then use the proceeds to cut taxes on people on average earnings.

:05:42.:05:46.

REPORTER: Are you trying to write George Osborne's budget for him?

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Not at all. Today a letter resurfaced, written by the Business

:05:50.:05:53.

Secretary at the beginning of February, in which he accuses the

:05:53.:05:57.

Prime Minister, and indeed his own boss, Nick Clegg, of presiding over

:05:57.:06:01.

a Government with no vision beyond sorting out the fiscal mess.

:06:01.:06:08.

Until his departure recently, Chris Huhne was the dissident in the

:06:08.:06:12.

cabinet, thorn in their side, now Vince Cable seems to have taken up

:06:12.:06:18.

the mantle. He's saying if it isn't radical, it isn't the Lib Dems'

:06:18.:06:23.

fault. But some will say those who criticise the strategy criticises

:06:23.:06:27.

his own brief. It is highly unlikely this budget will include a

:06:27.:06:30.

mansion tax, whatever the Lib Dem negotiating position, but there is

:06:30.:06:35.

probably going to be action to clampdown on its extravagantly

:06:35.:06:39.

lavish cousin, the people who set up companies to pay much reduced

:06:39.:06:43.

council tax on their companies. If people change the loopholes such as

:06:43.:06:46.

people putting flats into companies, they couldn't do it any more, isn't

:06:46.:06:51.

that a mansion tax? That is getting rid of a loophole, people shunting

:06:51.:06:56.

doing that any way, a mansion tax is a new source of revenue, it will

:06:56.:07:00.

earning more than closing the loophole t applies to all houses

:07:01.:07:06.

every year above �2 million. It would be an Andrews not an or.

:07:06.:07:13.

three days time the Lib Dems convene for their conference, a

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rowdy and not quite glam affair. Vince Cable pushing for the wealth

:07:18.:07:21.

tax could should a spring in the shod step.

:07:21.:07:26.

To give their thoughts on a mansion tax, the Conservative MP, Jacob

:07:26.:07:29.

Rees-Mogg, the property expert, Kirstie Allsopp, and Tim

:07:29.:07:34.

Montgomerie, editor of the story grass root website -- grass roots

:07:34.:07:40.

website. If someone is lucky enough to own a house worth �2 mill kwhron,

:07:40.:07:46.

they can afford -- �2 million, they can afford �5,000 a year? They

:07:46.:07:50.

already pay council tax, the problem with these houses is people

:07:50.:07:54.

don't have the cashflow. Get a smaller house? So you want to kick

:07:54.:07:58.

the widow out of her house. I find in the south-east of England,

:07:58.:08:03.

people living in their homes for 40 years, their home is valuable but

:08:03.:08:06.

they are living on small, fixed income. Is that how you want

:08:06.:08:12.

society to run. Tim Montgomerie, is that where you want society to run?

:08:12.:08:14.

We are facing probably one of the worst economic circumstances this

:08:14.:08:19.

country has faced for a long time. People on low and average incomes

:08:19.:08:22.

without there are struggling to make ends meet. They are running

:08:22.:08:26.

out of income at the start of the month, not the end. People for the

:08:26.:08:30.

first time are looking to be less well-off than the generation that

:08:30.:08:33.

preceded them. What I want from a Conservative-led Government, is to

:08:33.:08:37.

do everything it possibly can to help those families. The stories

:08:37.:08:41.

that Jacob has shared with us are tough, some people will find these

:08:41.:08:46.

sorts of taxes difficult, but I want, when George Osborne gets up

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to deliver the budget, I don't want him to just do things that are

:08:50.:08:54.

marginal for families, on council tax or petrol duty, I want him to

:08:54.:08:58.

have cut spending more deeply, and all the wiggle room in the budget,

:08:58.:09:02.

and introducing wealth taxes, to make a sizeable difference for the

:09:02.:09:06.

families we really need to help. Kirstie Allsopp, you spend your

:09:06.:09:13.

entire life in the property world, where are you Aberdeen? I'm in

:09:13.:09:16.

Aberdeen. And elsewhere. What effect would it have this sort of

:09:17.:09:23.

tax, do you think? I don't think it would have a major effect. At the

:09:23.:09:29.

point that they set it, let's say it is �2 million, there will be

:09:29.:09:33.

some fannying around in that area, it is not just that, they have to

:09:33.:09:42.

decide whether they want to tax assets, or whether they want to tax

:09:42.:09:48.

income. Jacob is completely right it is patronising to talk about

:09:48.:09:52.

this old widow, my parents and my parents-in-law would be hugely

:09:52.:09:58.

affected by an annual mansion tax. If we want a sales tax let's be

:09:58.:10:02.

honest, saying we pay tax when we go into a purchase, which we do,

:10:02.:10:07.

and when we come out of a purchase. In an honest sales tax, which they

:10:07.:10:10.

do in countries all over the world, and which it has been something

:10:10.:10:14.

that is slightly inevitable for a long time. Are you also going to

:10:14.:10:18.

defend all these foreign people who come to Britain and buy property

:10:18.:10:22.

without paying stamp duty? No. Why on earth would I defend them. We

:10:22.:10:29.

have stamp duty in this country, we should all pay it, and when we sell

:10:29.:10:33.

a property. Tim raes right, there are people suffering -- Tim's right,

:10:33.:10:37.

there are people suffering, they are not people owning �2 million

:10:37.:10:41.

properties. There are a great many people, particularly in the south-

:10:41.:10:45.

east, who own very valuable homes, like my in-laws, who have lived in

:10:45.:10:50.

the same house for 50 years, and would simply be incapable of paying

:10:50.:10:55.

an annual tax on the value of an asset they have had for a very long

:10:55.:11:00.

time. What about Kirstie Allsopp's in-laws? They may not have the

:11:00.:11:04.

income themselves, but they are sat on an asset. It is a home. It is a

:11:04.:11:09.

home, but it is also an asset for which other people will benefit

:11:09.:11:12.

perhaps through inheritance in later years. We have an inheritance

:11:12.:11:16.

tax. There are plenty of financial companies that will help your

:11:16.:11:19.

relatives or the Jacob's widow realise their asset now, they will

:11:19.:11:23.

still be able to live in that house, but extract some of the income now,

:11:23.:11:27.

so they can make a contribution. You can't tax people's homes.

:11:27.:11:32.

Through the exchequer, to help the mass of people suffering on a

:11:32.:11:35.

significant scale. People pay the Exchequer when they buy, and they

:11:35.:11:40.

pay when they die, but you cannot expect people who don't have an

:11:40.:11:47.

income to make an annual payment, what about people paying an 780%

:11:47.:11:52.

mortgage. You can have -- 80% mortgage. You can have someone in a

:11:52.:11:58.

�2 million house which is paid off and one working to pay it off.

:11:58.:12:01.

want the Conservative-led Government to be the party on the

:12:01.:12:06.

side of people who can't fill up their petrol tank at the moment,

:12:06.:12:10.

the people struggling to pay their electricity bills. A party that

:12:10.:12:13.

worries too much about people with �2 million homes, is not a party

:12:13.:12:18.

that will win a majority in this country. The high priest of

:12:19.:12:24.

Conservatism has suddenly gone socialist on us, which is worrying.

:12:24.:12:30.

Tim is in that in his position on the website. He's being

:12:30.:12:33.

compassionate, worrying about people with more urgent needs than

:12:33.:12:37.

those with �2 million house? He's saying penal taxes will help the

:12:37.:12:41.

less well off, they won't. It will mean people will leave the country,

:12:41.:12:46.

people will stop working, people will move house to smaller houses.

:12:46.:12:50.

If you have such a penal tax system in this country, bearing in mind

:12:50.:12:55.

the top 1% of tax-payers, already pay 27% of the total income tax. We

:12:55.:13:00.

had the figures on the CPS on how much comes from property taxes,

:13:00.:13:04.

death duties on the most expensive house, the idea more will be

:13:04.:13:12.

squeezed out of the top earners, without risking the tax base is

:13:12.:13:17.

simply mistaken. One of the reasons why apart from the tax aspect but

:13:17.:13:21.

as an economist I support taxes more wealth income. You can't say

:13:21.:13:26.

we are losing people taxing at 50% for high earners, people are going

:13:26.:13:30.

overseas because it is easier to move their income to foreign banks.

:13:30.:13:34.

Property, many people from London, overseas, evading stamp duty,

:13:34.:13:38.

Russian, from the Middle East, they are not making a contribution, and

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what we need is a crackdown on people like that, so that we can

:13:42.:13:48.

afford to cut the 50p tax rate. Everyone agrees all these people

:13:48.:13:53.

who come here and avoid tax should pay it, but it is all part of the?

:13:53.:13:57.

It is all part of the same package of being a Government that can

:13:57.:14:01.

afford tax cuts. What happens to society when you start taxing

:14:01.:14:05.

waeplt instead of earnings? wealth instead of earnings? If you

:14:05.:14:08.

tax earnings too much people move abroad, they can take the jobs

:14:08.:14:12.

abroad. If you tax property, that is much hard Tory evade, you

:14:12.:14:19.

actually get a system -- harder to evade, you are actually get a

:14:19.:14:23.

system where we are taxing wealth creation rather than wealth.

:14:23.:14:27.

think wealth taxes are remarkably easy to evade, in Italy they have a

:14:27.:14:32.

lot, which are renowned for tax avoidance and evasion. In Italy

:14:32.:14:37.

they avoid all taxes. Kirsty you have been trying to get in up in

:14:37.:14:40.

Aberdeen? I'm really saying the same thing over and over again.

:14:40.:14:45.

Stop it then? Have a transaction tax, but it is unworkable, as you

:14:45.:14:49.

said at the beginning of the show, Jeremy, we can't do it, we all know

:14:49.:14:55.

we can't do it. It will cause the most appalling problems, there will

:14:55.:15:00.

be numerous lawsuits, administering issues. Vince Cable has known for

:15:00.:15:05.

cage that is the mansion tax in its original form is unworkable. Let be

:15:05.:15:09.

a be honest and say we need more money. You know perfectly well

:15:09.:15:12.

Vince Cable is playing games for the benefit of his party, which is

:15:12.:15:16.

shortly to gather together, and they will say Saint Vince is

:15:16.:15:20.

keeping the flame alive. David Cameron will never go for this?

:15:20.:15:23.

fear not, I make the argument that a Conservative Party that is

:15:23.:15:27.

interested in the striving classes should, and Vince Cable may be

:15:27.:15:31.

playing politics with this. It is completely workable. I don't favour

:15:31.:15:34.

the precise mansion tax mechanism that Vince Cable has proposed. I

:15:34.:15:38.

think you would have a few higher bands on council tax, it is

:15:38.:15:42.

ridiculous at the moment someone in a �2 million house pays the same as

:15:42.:15:48.

someone on a �300,000 tax. Everybody agrees with that. There

:15:48.:15:51.

are perfectly workable ways of introducing fairer property taxes.

:15:51.:15:54.

Thank you very much. While we are on the subject of the

:15:54.:16:00.

budget, and what may or may not be in it, we have had quite a busy day.

:16:00.:16:05.

We have heard something about the plans to reform the planning laws

:16:05.:16:10.

in England. You may recall a great corn ternation among

:16:10.:16:13.

conservationists when it became known that planners were told to be

:16:13.:16:16.

more biased in favour of the development. The Government said it

:16:16.:16:21.

would think again. What have you found out? In terms of the headline,

:16:21.:16:26.

which is this horrible phrase that's rather jargon heavy, "a

:16:26.:16:29.

presumption in favour of sustainable development", that is

:16:29.:16:32.

staying, this is still a growth Government, it is something the

:16:32.:16:35.

Chancellor wants to push hard on and pushing for the budget, if he

:16:35.:16:38.

doesn't get his way we should be asking why not. To go backwards,

:16:38.:16:42.

this is a consultation launch last July, the idea was to make the

:16:42.:16:46.

system less complex, so to get, as soon as people got planning

:16:46.:16:50.

permission, they should be just able to go and build. The key thing

:16:50.:16:54.

is we have discussed, this phrase "a presumption in favour of

:16:54.:16:57.

sustainable development". Among others, it was the National Trust

:16:57.:17:00.

that said if it came to past it would be the death knell for the

:17:00.:17:05.

planning system as they know it. They talked about the end of the

:17:05.:17:10.

green belt, and our green and pleasant land to go back to

:17:10.:17:14.

Jerusalem would be concreted over. What is interesting me, is that the

:17:14.:17:18.

Treasury are very bullish about this, they want this in the budget,

:17:18.:17:22.

they don't want it after the budget, they want it part of the budget.

:17:22.:17:26.

This is a signal to builders, construction companies, which,

:17:26.:17:29.

let's remember, are people who if you can get to spend money, it

:17:29.:17:33.

trickles down into the economy very quickly. Construction is a big

:17:33.:17:37.

multiplier, they want them to be given a very big signal that

:17:37.:17:41.

planning is less difficult in this country. It was the subject of

:17:41.:17:45.

cabinet last week, they wanted to know why the planning document had

:17:45.:17:50.

been so long in the offing. I do believe there will be safeguards.

:17:50.:17:55.

Remember this is over over 1,000- pages. They thought it would be

:17:55.:17:59.

clever to shrink down to 54 pages, they realised over the fullness of

:17:59.:18:02.

time that was a problem. They had to make things more simple, and

:18:02.:18:05.

left out the safeguards on environmental issues. I think they

:18:05.:18:09.

will spell out that the green belt won't be touched. There will be

:18:09.:18:15.

better definition of an area of outnatural beauty, and the like.

:18:15.:18:23.

They are bullish about the outcome, but what campaigners are looking

:18:23.:18:27.

for remains to be seen, in terms of these groups it is a fight they

:18:28.:18:31.

will have, they want to do something about growth. Joining us

:18:31.:18:34.

from Westminster is the Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith, who

:18:35.:18:38.

has advised David Cameron on environmental issues, and is a

:18:38.:18:43.

member of the Environmental Audit Committee. What do you make of this

:18:43.:18:46.

decision, apparently to stick to the original proposal? I have heard

:18:46.:18:53.

that from your programme, only. Some I'm assuming, I'm hoping it is

:18:53.:18:59.

mu mours. I'm hoping -- Rumours. I'm hoping it is true or we should

:18:59.:19:04.

sack our researcher? I will leave that to the Newsnight team. I think

:19:04.:19:10.

the planning system needs reform, I believe that, and so does the

:19:10.:19:13.

National Trust. It is expensive for companies and exhausting to

:19:13.:19:16.

communities fighting off developers, nobody seems to win. When

:19:16.:19:19.

Government ministers, we have had one or two, talk about the planning

:19:19.:19:23.

system as a tool that should be used to promote economic growth, I

:19:23.:19:26.

think they ares missing something very important. The problem with

:19:26.:19:29.

the planning system is not that it is blocking development, it is not

:19:29.:19:33.

blocking development, there are 250,000 plots available to be built

:19:33.:19:38.

in the south-east of England alone. There are 31,000 acres of

:19:38.:19:42.

brownfield land waiting to be developed. In all, roughly 90% of

:19:42.:19:46.

applications go through. So the problem is not that it is blocking

:19:46.:19:49.

development, the problem is it is a very bureaucratic and lengthy

:19:49.:19:53.

system. A decision that should take two or three weeks, ends up taking

:19:53.:19:56.

months or years. That is the problem and they should be

:19:56.:19:59.

addressing that. If you talk about planning being used as a tool to

:19:59.:20:03.

promote economic growth, that sounds like a blank cheque for

:20:03.:20:05.

developers, that is a real problem. If you are a person without a job,

:20:06.:20:09.

it is pretty hard to take from a multi-millionaire, that sort of

:20:09.:20:14.

advice, isn't it? What advice? advice you have just given that it

:20:14.:20:18.

is nothing to do with development, others have decides it is to do

:20:18.:20:21.

with development and economic growth? I'm not giving advice, I'm

:20:21.:20:24.

saying the problem with the planning system is not that it is

:20:24.:20:26.

blocking development, I would like to see lots of development

:20:26.:20:30.

happening around the country, we have a real housing crisis, but

:20:30.:20:33.

ripping up the planning system as it currently is, will not lead to

:20:33.:20:37.

more development, it might mean a few developers will make more money,

:20:37.:20:40.

it won't lead to a net increase in economic growth or development.

:20:40.:20:43.

There are other factors at play, the fact that people can't get

:20:43.:20:47.

mortgages and the finance doesn't exist. That is what's impeding

:20:47.:20:52.

development, no the planning is is tem. It is not even -- system, it

:20:52.:20:56.

is not even a matter of data, it is a matter of fact. I'm not giving

:20:56.:20:58.

advice, I'm simply saying the planning system shouldn't be used

:20:58.:21:02.

as a tool to create development, that misses the point, I think.

:21:02.:21:06.

Those safeguards of local plans in green belts, they will still be

:21:06.:21:14.

there? Look, I don't know the final draft, I haven't seen it, I presume

:21:14.:21:19.

protection for National Parks and green belts will exist. They are

:21:19.:21:24.

not the only things that matter to communities. People want to protect

:21:24.:21:28.

things not essentially of natural value, but green spaces, their

:21:28.:21:32.

community. Areas of the countryside may not be hugely rich in

:21:32.:21:35.

biodiversity, but are important to communities that live in and around

:21:35.:21:41.

them. The planning system needs to protect what matters to people, not

:21:41.:21:47.

just a National Parks and biodiversity hot spots. It has to

:21:47.:21:50.

go beyond that. What was lacking from the original draft, that upset

:21:50.:21:55.

a lot of people, was a very clear bias in developing brownfield land

:21:55.:21:59.

first, I hope that is back in the script. Also a clear definition of

:21:59.:22:03.

what we mean by sustainable development F we have a presumption

:22:03.:22:05.

in favour of sustainability development, we need to know what

:22:05.:22:09.

that looks like. What does the Government believe sustainability

:22:09.:22:13.

amounts to. These are the things I think need to be addressed. I still

:22:13.:22:16.

hope the second draft will answer these questions. The Government

:22:16.:22:22.

will have a real headache if they haven't. Millions of people around

:22:22.:22:26.

the country are worried, they are right. Whatever reforms are brought

:22:26.:22:30.

in will have a lasting legacy s it will be on this generation, the

:22:30.:22:38.

next and the one after that. It is very important we get it right.

:22:38.:22:43.

signer space they say, no-one can hear you scream, but the FBI listen

:22:43.:22:47.

carefully. It emerged today one of the most wanted men in computer

:22:47.:22:51.

hacking has been co-operating with American investigators and dobing

:22:51.:23:00.

in fellow harkers. This Moriarty burrowed into banking and business

:23:00.:23:06.

organisations and completely compromised their security. It may

:23:06.:23:11.

all have started as a bit of a laugh, or at least that's what

:23:11.:23:15.

hacking group LulzSec wanted us to think, their slogan, "laughing at

:23:16.:23:21.

your security since 2011", but their attacks became increasingly

:23:21.:23:25.

high-profile, the US Senate, Sony and banks among their victims. A

:23:25.:23:30.

spin-off from the Hacking Collective, Anonymous, that is how

:23:30.:23:34.

they all would have liked to remain, but today the FBI released the

:23:35.:23:38.

names and handles from six suspects from both groups, charged with

:23:38.:23:42.

crimes the FBI say affected more than a million victims. What do we

:23:42.:23:52.
:23:52.:24:03.

know about those charged today. He has been arrested in Washington

:24:03.:24:13.
:24:13.:24:16.

and charged with crimes against a The FBI said today pleaded guilty

:24:16.:24:22.

to a dozen charges last summer. A report by Fox News, today claimed

:24:22.:24:26.

that 28-year-old self-taught hacker, Monster mons, turned against his

:24:27.:24:30.

hacking friends -- Monster mons, turned against his hacking friends,

:24:30.:24:33.

work - Hector Xavier Monsegur, turned against his friends, working

:24:33.:24:40.

with the FBI since last July. It goes towards old fashioned policing,

:24:40.:24:45.

and turned the tables on the hacking community that had seemed

:24:45.:24:49.

one step ahead of the enforcement services. Last month n one of the

:24:49.:24:53.

most embarrassing attacks, Anonymous released a recording of

:24:53.:24:56.

what was supposed to be a secure conference call, between signer

:24:56.:25:01.

crime detectives in the UK and the US. You need to reliesen to the

:25:01.:25:10.

conversation in the context of what -- reliesen to the -- re-listen to

:25:10.:25:14.

it, people will think they sound complacement, but they are not,

:25:14.:25:18.

there is a lot of money being spent to capture these people.

:25:18.:25:22.

Last summer Newsnight conducted an interview in an on-line chatroom

:25:22.:25:32.
:25:32.:25:34.

with a member of LulzSec, who told Of course, all those charged are

:25:34.:25:38.

innocent until proven guilty, and it seems unlikely this will be the

:25:38.:25:44.

end of a movement that frequently boasts that you cannot kill an idea.

:25:44.:25:52.

With us now is the journalist, Parmy Olson, of Forbes, who has

:25:52.:25:56.

enjoined privileged access to the members of LulzSec and Anonymous

:25:56.:26:01.

for over a year and published a history of the movement shortly to

:26:01.:26:07.

be published. How surprised were you to discover this guy was an FBI

:26:07.:26:11.

informant? I'm not surprised, there was a lot of suspicion in the

:26:11.:26:16.

hacker community over the last few months, because one by one every

:26:16.:26:21.

member of LulzSec of getting arrested, the founding members, yet

:26:21.:26:25.

Sabu, the de facto leader, widely known to be living in New York,

:26:25.:26:33.

widely known to be of Porto Rican descent, had not been arrested, he

:26:33.:26:37.

was prolific on Twitter, very verbal and public, yet here he was

:26:37.:26:40.

apparently still at large. How big a noise was he in this hacking

:26:40.:26:49.

world. He is definitely a charasmatic character and well

:26:49.:26:54.

known. He had 25,000 Twitter followers until recently, that has

:26:54.:27:00.

now shot up. On the Internet chat networks were the where the

:27:00.:27:04.

Anonymous supporters discussed things. If he went on-line he would

:27:04.:27:09.

have everyone hanging on to his every word. An aggressive and

:27:09.:27:12.

intense personality and influential. Most of the other hackers were much

:27:12.:27:18.

younger? Generally speaking he is of an older age group, late 20s,

:27:18.:27:22.

most tend to be in late teens, early 20s, even early teens.

:27:22.:27:26.

could get them to do things? could say that. He's very

:27:26.:27:31.

influential, charming to speak to. And very opinionated. When he talks

:27:31.:27:35.

about his views, he's very good at getting those across and justifying

:27:35.:27:39.

what he did. To a lot of people, this seems,

:27:39.:27:43.

frankly, slightly incomprehensible, something that maybe starts off as

:27:43.:27:50.

a game, can I beat this system here. It then becomes something else?

:27:50.:27:52.

definitely ballooned into something bigger that spiralled out of

:27:52.:27:56.

control for the people who were involved, particularly the people

:27:56.:28:02.

who were arrested, like hector. I think part of that comes are from

:28:02.:28:06.

the camaraderiery they felt together, the sense of euphoria

:28:06.:28:11.

with each hack and the sense of victory. And of course the media

:28:11.:28:14.

attention they got, LulzSec, the hacking group he was leading,

:28:14.:28:21.

within a few weeks we were getting up to 300,000 Twitter followers,

:28:21.:28:24.

the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal was quoting their tweets.

:28:24.:28:34.
:28:34.:28:37.

That was also part of what fuelled what they were doing. Apart from

:28:37.:28:42.

the attention, is there some other function can you tell from the

:28:42.:28:46.

targets they chose to compromise? don't think so, a lot of it wasn't

:28:46.:28:50.

pro-active, from the investigations I did for my book, a lot of it was

:28:50.:28:56.

reactive. They wouldn't say let's go after the CIA or let's go after

:28:56.:29:01.

Sony rb they would look across different web -- they would look

:29:01.:29:05.

across different websites and see what weaknesses they would find.

:29:05.:29:09.

When they found something everybody was game to go after it, once they

:29:09.:29:13.

put out a press release, they would justify it and slap on a political

:29:13.:29:16.

motive. Stkpwhrm did they understand what the real world

:29:16.:29:20.

conse -- Did they understand what the real world consequences would

:29:20.:29:26.

be? I think they did. But the sense of euphoria that came from the fame

:29:26.:29:31.

masked that for a while. I was talking them to as it was happening,

:29:31.:29:34.

one was talking about reaching a point of no return, where it all

:29:34.:29:38.

got so big, and they thought they would get arrested and part of them

:29:38.:29:43.

thought they wouldn't. It was kind of a detatched way of living in two

:29:43.:29:46.

worlds. I am the only thing holding this

:29:46.:29:51.

country together, has been the boast of one dictator after another.

:29:51.:29:55.

In Libya, which threw off Colonel Gaddafi, serious tensions emerged

:29:55.:29:59.

today. Revolutionary leaders in Benghazi, the city where the Libyan

:29:59.:30:04.

uprising began, have declared their commitment to a semi-autonomy in

:30:04.:30:07.

the post-Gaddafi state. We will talk about whether the country

:30:07.:30:11.

might fall apart shortly, first we have been to Colonel Gaddafi's home

:30:11.:30:15.

town, and the place where he was eventually killed. It has paid a

:30:16.:30:25.
:30:26.:30:26.

heavy price. There are some disturbing images in this report.

:30:26.:30:32.

They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to

:30:32.:30:38.

protect me, my people. Just outside Sirte is a billion

:30:38.:30:48.
:30:48.:30:48.

pound monument to vanity and excess. The complex was a summit venue, and

:30:48.:30:53.

intended by Gaddafi to be the capital for a united Africa.

:30:53.:31:03.

Saying from his green book still The marble, chrome and glass have

:31:03.:31:07.

been shattered by revolutionary fighters. It now stands testament

:31:07.:31:16.

to a modern Osimandius. Outside, some of the locals who

:31:16.:31:24.

joined the revolution saw us, and came to make their own gesture.

:31:24.:31:28.

TRANSLATION: The dictator Gaddafi turned this complex into a garden

:31:28.:31:34.

for himself and his guests, it was off limits to us, we are forbidden

:31:34.:31:38.

as residents of the city to come here, we couldn't go near it. By

:31:38.:31:42.

the grace of God now, everyone can enter the complex, hopefully it

:31:42.:31:49.

will be rebuilt and all the Libyan people will benefit from it. In the

:31:49.:31:55.

sent irof Sirte is the insurance -- centre of Sirte is this insurance

:31:55.:32:00.

building, it was said that allies shells were dropped after Gaddafi

:32:00.:32:05.

entered the basement There are many versions what happened here,

:32:05.:32:10.

firstly, that the international effort to help Libya was based on a

:32:10.:32:13.

UN resolution, that put protecting the civilian population from the

:32:14.:32:18.

Armed Forces, front and centre. Yet, by the time the conflict drew to a

:32:18.:32:22.

close, seven months later, it was this town where Gaddafi was born

:32:22.:32:28.

and killed that would prove to have been the most bombarded in the

:32:28.:32:37.

country. We drove down to the seafront, to

:32:37.:32:41.

the place where revolutionary fighters hemmed in the last Gaddafi

:32:41.:32:48.

loyalists, and pounded them for weeks. It is auld Area 2 -- it is

:32:48.:32:53.

called Area 2, and laid waste by the fighting. TRANSLATION: The town

:32:53.:32:57.

of Sirte has seen lots of damage, the destruction of homes, theft,

:32:57.:33:02.

plundering. Houses, schools and hospitals are all in ruins. The

:33:02.:33:05.

whole country has suffered immensely. If we ask the

:33:05.:33:10.

authorities for anything, they tell us to fill in a form and take it to

:33:10.:33:14.

head office. We never see results, nothing gets done. The scale of the

:33:14.:33:20.

damage was such that the majority of the 20,000 people living in Area

:33:20.:33:25.

2, left, most have still not returned.

:33:25.:33:30.

How are they coping living in the flat with no electricity or water?

:33:30.:33:37.

TRANSLATION: The water supply is very erratic. We often have to go

:33:37.:33:44.

to the standpipe and carry the water back in pots. People here are

:33:44.:33:48.

bitter about NATO's bombs and the wanton destruction of fellow

:33:48.:33:56.

Libyans. They don't know whether to greet or stone us. There were some

:33:56.:34:04.

desultry Gaddafi chants, locals are always looking for trouble, one

:34:04.:34:08.

fighter from Benghazi has been arrested for crimes against people.

:34:08.:34:11.

TRANSLATION: They killed and kidnapped and stole cars until they

:34:11.:34:16.

were detained and questioned. That is why we are not co-operative for

:34:16.:34:20.

revolutionaries outside, they didn't expect the law -- respect

:34:20.:34:25.

the laws here. There was a woman pregnant in labour, her husband

:34:25.:34:31.

took her to hospital, they fired at the car and killed her. The next

:34:31.:34:35.

day they were caught and it was found they were the cause of

:34:35.:34:39.

previous trouble in Sirte. When the town fell, the anti-Gaddafi

:34:39.:34:45.

fighters were jubilant. But people in the city say they also indulged

:34:45.:34:51.

in an orgy of vandalism. Even surveying the damage across

:34:51.:34:56.

Sirte today, it is so extensive and indiscriminate, it must have hit

:34:56.:35:01.

people who had long opposed the dictatorship. We totally support

:35:01.:35:05.

the freedom fighters, but what he this did after the liberation in

:35:05.:35:09.

Sirte, it is a complete disaster. They do the same as pro-Gaddafi.

:35:09.:35:13.

You came for freedom, for liberation, not for reveings. What

:35:13.:35:17.

happened to Sirte, it is totally revenge.

:35:17.:35:27.
:35:27.:35:29.

It is not the freedom we fight for. It is not the people we fight for,

:35:29.:35:34.

we have to start again, and do it right, otherwise Muammar Gaddafi is

:35:34.:35:39.

still there. It was fighters from Misrata who captured the dictator

:35:39.:35:43.

and are thought to have killed him. Armed groups from that same place,

:35:43.:35:46.

a couple of hours drive up the coast, have taken it upon

:35:46.:35:54.

themselves to throw their weight around even now. Shocking footage

:35:54.:35:58.

has appeared on the Internet, contributing to charges of abuse

:35:58.:36:03.

against the revolutionary brigades. There were some mock executions,

:36:03.:36:08.

there was abuse, a lot of mockery, spitting, things like this, you can

:36:08.:36:15.

find most of this on-line. There is, to date, that I'm ware of, not been

:36:15.:36:19.

anyone convict -- aware of, not been anyone convicted. Plenty of

:36:19.:36:24.

cases, deaths in custody, torture, no investigations and no

:36:24.:36:27.

accountability for anybody. This is the crux of the problem when it

:36:27.:36:31.

comes to this. As people think they can get away with this sort of

:36:31.:36:38.

thing, and it is tolerated, you will see more of it. The militia

:36:38.:36:45.

brigades in Misrata, deny the charges of detainee abuse.

:36:45.:36:49.

TRANSLATION: Regarding mistreatment in prisons, that does not happen

:36:49.:36:53.

here. When a prisoner ray riefs, he's well treated. -- arrives, he

:36:53.:36:59.

is well treated, it is an administrative building, prisoners

:36:59.:37:07.

are provided with food. When they are captured they are subject today

:37:07.:37:12.

rough treatment, but in prison there are systems and food. This

:37:12.:37:16.

school in Sirte is just a few hundred metres from where Gaddafi

:37:16.:37:24.

was captured last October. It was damaged by gunfire, but it has been

:37:24.:37:29.

repaired and glass classes have resumed. There is an uneasy

:37:29.:37:34.

atmosphere among pupils and staff. I was in the prison in Misrata, for

:37:34.:37:42.

70 days, I came back here to my family in Sirte. Some military from

:37:42.:37:46.

Misrata caught me on the route, and took me there, and put me, my job

:37:47.:37:54.

is a teacher, and they put me in Misrata in the school. For 70 days.

:37:54.:38:00.

Still now there is many, many people in Misrata. They change, you

:38:00.:38:10.
:38:10.:38:12.

see this school for study, but in Misrata they make it school for

:38:12.:38:16.

bringing people to it. While that teacher said he

:38:16.:38:22.

helicopter been torture, he did tell us it would be -- he had been

:38:22.:38:26.

tortured, he did say it would be years before Gaddafi's Green Flag

:38:26.:38:32.

would be taken down. For some of the boys our presence was not

:38:32.:38:35.

welcomed. Many of the children had lost brothers and sisters in the

:38:35.:38:40.

fighting, some of them blame NATO and the west. As we were leaving

:38:40.:38:44.

the mood changed distinctly, we came under a hail of stones and the

:38:44.:38:52.

vehicles were damaged. So what of the future for Sirte,

:38:52.:38:57.

aid agencies agree it needs more help in rebuilding, that any other

:38:57.:39:02.

town in Libya. TRANSLATION: As you can see the building is under

:39:02.:39:08.

construction, no power or water. Thousands of homes remain

:39:08.:39:12.

uninhabitable. Their owners have fetched up in places like this, a

:39:12.:39:17.

half finished apartment block, afraid their community is now

:39:17.:39:20.

stigmatised. TRANSLATION: People are concerned with their day-to-day

:39:20.:39:25.

life. They don't have time to support any politician, people have

:39:25.:39:30.

more pressing things to worry about, health, environment, the city is

:39:30.:39:35.

destroyed, if the infrastructure is destroyed, life is difficult.

:39:35.:39:38.

filmed we were aware the new authorities were keeping an eye on

:39:38.:39:42.

us. Several people with allegations against the revolution, said they

:39:42.:39:51.

were too frightened to be filmed. What are the options for the people

:39:51.:39:56.

of Sirte in the harsh new reality they live. There have been some

:39:56.:40:01.

rumours about the resumption of armed struggle, insurgency. Most

:40:01.:40:06.

people discount that as a viable strategy. Instead, fascinatingly,

:40:06.:40:11.

they are taking a leave out of the book of their former opponents in

:40:11.:40:15.

the revolutionary movement, using the Internet and other modern media

:40:15.:40:22.

to try to mobilise some public support.

:40:22.:40:26.

This presentation is part of the campaign that's recently born

:40:26.:40:33.

launched on behalf of Sirte -- been launched on behalf of Sirte. It

:40:33.:40:37.

encourages Libyans to discard their prejudices and help the city start

:40:37.:40:44.

anew. We started as the youth from Sirte. We started to show pictures

:40:44.:40:50.

and invited every embassy, UN, EU, just to show what happened to Sirte.

:40:50.:40:57.

We need people to talk out. I foal it is like a stab in my back,

:40:57.:41:03.

if I see my family and I see people inside Sirte, and they hurt, and

:41:03.:41:10.

nobody talks. It is bad. I don't care that Muammar Gaddafi

:41:10.:41:13.

is from Sirte, I care about the families there. So I have to speak

:41:13.:41:23.

out and the whole world they have to hear us.

:41:23.:41:29.

Sirte has its own Glean Square, another forlorn reminder of

:41:29.:41:35.

Gaddafi's grand design and its failure. Now post-revolution, the

:41:35.:41:39.

city stands for something different. The fate of Sirte now is very

:41:39.:41:44.

important, and so the way that the new Libyan authorities treat places

:41:44.:41:51.

that were seen to be very loyal to Gaddafi is going to be a litmus

:41:51.:41:55.

test for what the future will hold. When I was interviewing people,

:41:55.:42:00.

families from Sirte back in October, one of the gentlemen said to me,

:42:00.:42:06.

right now we don't have have the power to fight back, but we will

:42:06.:42:12.

not forget, and when we do, we will. Having had so much money lavished

:42:12.:42:17.

upon it in the past, some Libyans now feel Sirte should go to the

:42:17.:42:25.

back of the queue. But people will watch what happens here, both those

:42:25.:42:31.

who believe democracy and human rights can triumph over revenge and

:42:31.:42:35.

tribalism, as well as those who support unpopular leaders, and

:42:35.:42:40.

wonder what might happen to them when their leader is tumbled from

:42:40.:42:45.

the pedestal. Joining me from Italy is a member of the Libyan National

:42:45.:42:52.

Transitional Council. Isn't Sirte entitled to as much assistance as

:42:52.:42:58.

any other place in Italy? Xaebgtly, this revolution is for -- exactly,

:42:58.:43:03.

this revolution is for all Libyans together. Libya is united, west,

:43:03.:43:09.

east and north, it will be united and the whole country is united. It

:43:09.:43:13.

clearly isn't united, let's be realistic, it is clearly not, we

:43:13.:43:16.

will come to the politics in a second. Let's look at the question

:43:16.:43:23.

of torture, these allegations of torture, made by organisations like

:43:23.:43:32.

Human Rights Watch, Medecins sans frontier, this is a discais

:43:33.:43:38.

national -- a disgraceful state of affairs? I have been visiting so

:43:38.:43:44.

many prisons in Misrata and Tripoli. It seems if you have a few cases

:43:44.:43:47.

but it doesn't say that is the whole country like this, or the

:43:47.:43:53.

whole person is like this. Amnesty International visited 11 place of

:43:54.:43:58.

at the detention, ten of which people said they had been subjected

:43:58.:44:03.

to mistreatment? Well, I can tell us, most of the prisoners, they

:44:03.:44:09.

received their families, visiting, almost every second day. If there

:44:09.:44:16.

is something like that, it will be sent by the familiar lose. --

:44:16.:44:21.

families. Now we have a system that all prisoners, even the dangerous

:44:21.:44:25.

guys, visit their families. Some have been transferred to their

:44:25.:44:32.

homes. There is no negotiations at all. But you may find ...There

:44:32.:44:38.

pictures of people being tortured on the Internet, they are all fake?

:44:39.:44:44.

Anything which the Internet is trying to film from a prison. We

:44:44.:44:48.

don't know where it is come ring from. If you and any other

:44:48.:44:52.

organisations come and visit the prisoner themselves. Anything that

:44:52.:44:55.

you and the Internet are not responsible for, because we don't

:44:55.:44:59.

know where it comes from. Can we talk about the politics for a

:44:59.:45:04.

second or two? This demand today from Benghazi that the arrangement

:45:04.:45:08.

within the country be changed, so that there be some sort of federal

:45:08.:45:12.

system, in which Benghazi is left much more, and the area around it,

:45:12.:45:17.

is left much more to its own devices, doesn't that indicate a

:45:17.:45:22.

profound lack of faith in the current arrangements.

:45:22.:45:27.

I don't think so, federalisation is something that is more, and it is

:45:27.:45:32.

not something for me or NTC or any member of Libya now to talk about

:45:32.:45:38.

or decide where to go. It is too early for the Libyans to decide,

:45:38.:45:43.

whether to go for the king dom, whatever it is. We are wait --

:45:43.:45:47.

kingdom, whatever it is, we are waiting for the constitution, and

:45:47.:45:52.

then the six million Libyans decide where to go. We are not saying if

:45:52.:45:58.

the organisation is good or bad, it is too early to say. This group

:45:58.:46:03.

gathered together and decided to go for it, they are not presenting

:46:03.:46:11.

eastern parts, that is where the uprising started. You will see so

:46:11.:46:16.

many demonstrations, again it is this, there was a survey done by

:46:16.:46:24.

some media, in that region, only 30% or 25% with that .5% against.

:46:25.:46:32.

So we are, this is something which is again the wish of the people.

:46:32.:46:37.

Thank you for spending the time to talk to us. Thank you. That is all

:46:37.:46:40.

from Newsnight tonight, the 50th anniversary of the publication of

:46:40.:46:45.

the report, which showed what tobacco does to your health. There

:46:45.:46:50.

are still eight million who spoke, and the accumulated loss of life he

:46:50.:46:57.

can speck tancy is said to be a million years. 50 years enough to

:46:57.:47:04.

build up of those life expectancy sis.

:47:04.:47:11.

I like spoking. I enjoy it. -- like smoking, I enjoy it. Is it

:47:11.:47:20.

worth the risk? Yes. Honestly it is one's life, at the end of one's

:47:20.:47:24.

life you are probably more in the hand of almighty God than in my own

:47:24.:47:29.

hand. Are you going to try to cut down now the report is out??

:47:29.:47:33.

don't think so, I don't think I spoke heavily enough to worry about

:47:34.:47:38.

it. Don't you believe the connection between cancer? Maybe, I

:47:38.:47:45.

connection between cancer? Maybe, I have never been really ill.

:47:45.:47:49.

Hello, some wind and drain crossing the country at the moment, soggy

:47:49.:47:54.

end to the night for most places. Causing problems for the early

:47:54.:47:58.

morning commute. Things will improve by the afternoon, most of

:47:58.:48:04.

us brighter and breezy. Sun shy, but a cold wind, a scattering of

:48:04.:48:12.

blus -- sunshine but a cold wind. Bright and breezy in the afternoon.

:48:12.:48:17.

Showers are isolated, racing through on the blustery wind. If

:48:17.:48:22.

anything, falling away during the course of the afternoon as colder

:48:22.:48:26.

air digs are from the west. It means the showers across snow

:48:26.:48:31.

downia could turn wintry, and in the Highland. For Scotland we are

:48:31.:48:35.

concerned that later on in the day, we could see nasty conditions,

:48:35.:48:39.

significant snowfall, not just over the mountains, but low level as we

:48:39.:48:44.

see the snow blowing around. It is all change on Thursday, milder

:48:44.:48:49.

again across northern areas, milder, cloudier and outbreak of rain,

:48:49.:48:52.

particularly for western Scotland and Northern Ireland. Further south

:48:52.:48:57.

it looks like drying up, sunshine, after a frosty start. The trend as

:48:57.:49:02.

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