The coalition has demonstrated that it is as cavalier with our civil liberties as its egregious predecessor. Here we are, two years in and we are getting the same oppressive bills being rolled out – one realises at this point that the hidden government of the distinctly uncivil service is the root of the rot and the politicians who are transient are merely window dressing for the real operatives here.
The idea that snooping on our communications – everyone, not just those suspected of criminal intent – is going to somehow stop terrorism, which of course is the usual excuse rolled out every time a government wants to clamp down on the liberties of the population is an absurdity:
The government said that updated legislation to take account of new technology was vital in the fight against criminals and terrorists.
No, it is not vital at all. Indeed, it is not even necessary. They already have the facility to snoop on suspects if they have sufficient cause, in which case, they can go before a judge and get a court order. The rest of us can be left alone as it should be.
Remind me, someone, just how many terrorist attacks have there actually been in the past decade or so? Oh, yeah, that’s right, the actual risk is tiny, miniscule, bordering on the non-existent. So tiny that it does not warrant massive expense and intrusion. Yes, there is a risk. However, let’s keep it in proportion, please. Frankly, I have more to worry about with trigger happy cops than I do a mad mullah with a container of fertiliser.
Facetiousness aside, that is quite apart from the obvious fact that has already been pointed out by privacy groups, that the determined will get around any such controls anyway. After all, they can simply switch back to pen and paper if they really want to – assuming that we will also see clampdowns stopping people buying disposable PAYG mobile phones.
As I discovered a few weeks back, using anonymous proxies to bypass this is a waste of time. I managed to uncover the user of an anonymous proxy just by using a WordPress plugin. I don’t know how effective VPNs will prove to be, but if this comes about – if it is not killed by various opposition MPs and rebels on the government benches,that is – this might be the route to take. As i understand it, the database maintained by the ISP will simply show that the user has accessed the VPN – thereafter will not be recorded. That’s if I am correct…
Anyway, if I was determined to carry out some nefarious activity, would I really be stupid enough to put it on FarceBook or Twatter? Really? On the other hand, people do say things there that government might want to control or restrict because it is “hate speech” – or, as Eric Blair would have called it, thoughtcrime. And that, frankly, is what this is all about. The terrorist is as is usual offered as the justification when totalitarian legislation is being rolled out in order to control what we may say or think. Nothing new here, just the names on the tin.
Cross posted from Longrider.