State Spying In the Name of Terrorism
This is an update to my piece (One Nation Under CCTV) about surveillance in our so called free society!
In 2006, the then Labour government proposed to pass a law which would have allowed police and all secret services to look at all internet traffic. Email, texts, and phone calls! The excuse, as usual, was National security.
This was, we were told, essential in keeping us all safe from terrorist bombers. The idea was derided and attacked as an assault on citizens’ freedom by the Conservative party as a gross invasion of privacy.
Now, six years later, the Conservatives and Libdem coalition are trying to do exactly what they stood strongly against not too long ago! This is the most breathtaking hypocrisy in the history of weaseling political cynicism! How David Cameron can say, with a straight face, that it is now a good thing to rip up people’s right to freedom, when he not only opposed the previous Government’s attempt to spy on its own population, but said before he was elected to office, he was going to throw back the states power to spy on its citizenry!
What might have happened to change his mind, other than typical political mendacity? Maybe he was sincere when he made the statement to cut the intrusions into people’s personal lives. Maybe he wasn’t. Possibly, like President Obama, he discovered that doing what he promised wasn’t possible. Did the military/industrial complex tell him his plans were not in their interests?
Did America tell him this draconian measure was in their best interests? It’s certainly possible. The USA is very interested in so called terror suspects in the UK.
No matter what happened, this is one of the biggest about turns in political history! Totally anti when in opposition, to completely pro when in government. It is a policy which has to be opposed with every fibre of our being. It is something that is completely alien to the British public. It’s a presumption that everybody is guilty! Governments already have more than enough power and laws to deal with terrorism. Nothing new is needed in this area.
In Britain today we have thousands of new laws for every part of our lives. Only the other day, some water companies began a hosepipe ban in the southeast of England. Lack of rain and hundreds of poorly maintained and leaking pipes means reservoirs are at an all time low. Fines of one thousand pounds will be handed out for breaking this embargo! Assaulting another human being is dealt with by lesser fines. Yet more government overkill!
That is only one wee example of how officialdom has become out of kilter with the population at large.
The other nasty part of this is the clear understanding that people will be expected to tell the authorities if they see anyone flouting this ban. Much like East Germany in the seventies and eighties!
Back then, the East German Stasi had help from citizen informants, creating a society of tattling and fear. When fully employed, the Stasi had an agent or citizen spy for every 6.5 East German citizens. Talk about a Nanny State! Nobody knew who among them was an informant, so what resulted was a community crippled by anxiety. The Stasi filmed people through tiny holes bored into apartment and hotel walls. Schools, universities, and public places were similarly monitored.
I for one do not want my electronic communications spied upon by some grey drone in a drab concrete bunker. All intelligent and thinking people should come together to put a stop to more Big Brother-isation by the state!
What is happening here in the UK is being replicated in many other parts of the world. It’s being done in the name of security. The claim is “how would you, the public, feel if a bombing took place and of we had spied on you it wouldn’t have happened?” Pure moral blackmail!
We hear of every successful anti terrorism operation. This is often put down to good intelligence, dogged detective work and lengthy surveillance. If these successful operations can take place without any new intrusive privacy laws, then the government doesn’t need to inflict any more big brother tactics on the population!
In closing, we have to decide just how far we can allow the authorities to pry into our private lives. I for one, think they have already gone too far. They sneak these things past us in the name of security. Whose security? Not ours. They are securing the country for themselves and their enormously rich friends!
This type of intrusive surveillance isn’t just a British problem. America is no better and possibly worse.
We have to stand up to this tyranny, and stop the state from taking over our lives. Wake up folks, before it’s too late to stop the rush for control. Stay alert and keep them guessing.
Michael J Blair is a regular contributor to DDA, and he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair