Monday, April 02, 2012

Big Brother will be watching

UKanian? Use the internet? The British government wants to watch everything you do, in real time:

The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.

Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time


A new law - which may be announced in the forthcoming Queen's Speech in May - would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant.

But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long. They would also be able to see which websites someone had visited.

This is serious "Big Brother" stuff - a vast surveillance system, keeping an eye on what people are reading, and who is talking to who. Its incredibly intrusive, akin to keeping everyone under 24/7 camera surveillance - and yet they will be able to do all of this without a warrant, and without any sort of supervision. The potential for abuse is obvious - as is the potential for false positives. And given their past record, that probably means more innocent dead people.

The core of privacy is the right to be left alone. This violates that right - grossly, broadly, on a massive scale. In an increasingly networked world, it will mean the government looking over your shoulder on everything you do. And that's just not something we should accept.