Ministers are to consider plans for a database of electronic information holding details of every phone call and e-mail sent in the UK, it has emerged. - BBC
Read that again, and let it sink in. It's a quote from the BBC whilst The Times adds that "time spent on the internet" will also be recorded.
I once counted that 57 cameras record me on my travel to work (I was very bored) whilst my oyster card/wand tracks tracks me too. The Government being able to trace my every movement has resulted in them also being able to solve 3% of street crime. I've not decided what my views on CCTV cameras are - but at the cost of billions they are, at the very least, an ineffective weapon.
This doesn't make me feel more secure.
If this new bill goes through once I've been recorded almost 60 times I'll sit at my computer and every email I send and phonecall I make and even every time I turn on my browser will all be recorded too. All added to the database. Before I clock out, head home and get filmed 57 more times.
Or maybe I'll go shopping in one of the shopping centres that use your mobile to triangulate where you are at any given moment and how long you stay and which shops you go to and how often you visit (there is 1 in Portsmouth, with 3 more planned).
On their own you could probably convince me that each one of these is harmless, but this data will naturally converge, copy, intwine and leak. That's what data does.
In my mind this IT bill would be the tipping point that makes the UK an Orwellian police state. Don't get me wrong, A benevolent and just Police state, but one all the same. And once we have that all we need is a maybe two or three decades to pass and a dick to be elected and we will have given him the power to control us. I know that sounds needlessly fanciful, over the top and paranoid. And I know I might seem like a crank for saying this. I don't want to give that impression, but I think our generation are the only ones to really understand the power the IT revolution has to free us - or chain us. And as an astronomer and a scientist, I'm naturally inclined to think about things on long time scales. I don't think we'll walk into 1984 tomorrow, but we do need to get this all straight now, at the dawn of the IT revolution. Rather then wait till it first goes wrong.
We need to be very careful.
But even if your not a pragmatic, paranoid person like myself, then the fact that the Government recently demonstrated how little they understand this modern world by losing 25 million names, addresses, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and bank details coupled with AOL's search records fuck up (where purely anonymous search records were released - and consequently used to identify numerous people) and you must realise how dangerous this is.
The time for just being disappointed on the internet has past. Don't just moan on some forum, it's time we kicked up a fuss. If you don't like this I strongly recommend you to go to Write to Them, pop in your postcode, and send your MP an email telling him so. It will only take a few minutes and it's all from within your browser.
Why not watch Taking Liberties? Why not look into seeing if you agree with NO2ID, and then, if you do, support them.
How it used to be.