Monday, March 02, 2009
1984 - Creeping Surveillance
I am pleased to see that Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, gave a stark warning in the Times about the dangers of "hardwiring surveillance" into the British way of life.
He warns, as indeed this site has been warning for several years, that "creeping surveillance" in the public and private sectors has gone "too far, too fast" and risks undermining democracy.
He is particularly worried about the the database that Nanny wants to build that will contains details of every telephone call, e-mail and text message.
He is quoted:
"In the last 10 or 15 years a great deal of surveillance in public and private places has been extended without sufficient thought to the risks and consequences.
Our society is based on liberty and democracy. I do not want to see excessive surveillance hardwired into British society."
"A government-run database of the communications of all citizens, every phone call, every e-mail, every text, every internet use; a database of all those activities held by the Government would be a step too far for the British way of life.
That A has telephoned B on a particular date from a particular location is actually quite intrusive.
If an MP logged on to a site selling Viagra, that tells you quite a lot. If a 16-year-old girl goes on to a website about abortion that tells you an awful lot about her too.
I don't think there's a black-and-white distinction between traffic data and content."
Mr Thomas is also none too impressed with the requirements by some local police forces for all pubs, clubs etc to have CCTV monitoring their customers.
"We've come out against the requirement for pub licensees to fit CCTV as a condition of their licence.
This is hardwiring surveillance into British pubs. It is unacceptable."
The fundamental question that Nanny and her chums in local councils and the police need to be asked, and answer clearly, is this:
Exactly who is the suspect?
The answer, based on Nanny's actions, is that we are all suspects.
That situation is intolerable, a healthy democracy cannot survive under conditions of such suspicion and mass observation.
ZaNuLabour is intent on destroying democracy.
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