Tuesday, May 20, 2008

All your communications are belong to us

Having stuck a surveillance camera on every street corner (with no discernible effect on crime), the British government is planning the next stage of its transformation into a totalitarian surveillance society: a database containing details of every phone call, every email, every VOIP call, every text message, and everyone's internet usage, all in one place so the police and intelligence services can go fishing.

But don't worry - only the guilty will have anything to fear. The government can be trusted not to lose this information. Or sell it. Or use it to dig up dirt on their political opponents. The police would never use it to keep tabs on their abused partners, and the security services would never trawl for dirt with which to blackmail politicians in the name of "national security" (and preventing budget cuts). The government is your friend and can be trusted. And everyone needs to be protected from the scary terrorists.

Meanwhile, Orwell is spinning in his grave. It is increasingly looking like the only thing he got wrong was the date.