Parliament Increases Surveillance of Social Media
MICHAEL J BLAIR
Amid all the hoo hah of the recent US presidential election, I’ve noticed a worrying increase in the powers given to the authorities by parliament, in order to keep tabs on every citizen in the UK who has the ability to either use a smart phone, tablet, or computer.
These new laws allow the police, local authorities, and the security services to spy on the social media of any person they regard as a threat to national security, or in local authorities’ cases, what we put in our ever increasing array of refuse bins.
These powers do not need to be judicially approved except in the instances of journalism, where there will be a hearing in front of a judge, to ascertain whether the authorities have enough evidence against said journalist to undertake surveillance of that person and to go through their computers or other electronic devices.
This might just be OK, but the problem is that the journalist who is the target of this intrusion won’t know it’s happening, because they will not be at the court hearing which is held in secret. Their computer and devices will be searched remotely!
This is extremely troubling and is another step in the huge amount of personal spying of innocent people by unaccountable civil servants and gung-ho police leaders.
At this very moment I or anyone with an opinion which isn’t in tune with government thinking, will be under some type of surveillance.
There has hardly been a word of objection from anyone, because relatively few people know these draconian powers exist. As usual, the public is blindly ignorant of the reality of anti-terrorism legislation.
In this, what we jokingly call a democratic country, there are more CCTV cameras per head of population than in ANY other country on the planet. Not a single person is safe from the intrusive non-blinking lens of the spy camera!
If you think you are nice and safe and secure in your home, think again.
You are still being watched or monitored in one way or another.
Why do you think we are constantly being told we must have high speed internet access? Why are we being told that life isn’t complete unless we have the latest smartphone?
These devices are used to make sure where we are at all times. Who we are communicating with and what we are communicating about. If “hackers” can infect our computers and smartphones without us knowing, then it follows that the government is doing exactly the same thing!
We are urged to get anti-virus protection, but how do we know that it isn’t just another way to get information on which websites we visit and what type of goods we are buying online?
Apparently all these extra powers are to make us safe against the threat of terrorism.
Of course, this is utter bollocks! It’s to make sure you or I aren’t planning to attempt to overthrow the government of the day, or trying to get to talk to a human being at a power company.
The police and the security services are already over-equipped with powers to get information on the rest of the population, without the need for secret courts to curb press freedom or free speech. They do not need more. As we know, the more power given, the more power is abused.
We are monitored so much we take it for granted. Well, we shouldn’t.
This horror has been creeping up on us since the Twin Towers’ atrocities, even though the risk from terrorism is relatively slight.
Even during the darkest days of IRA terrorism, there wasn’t the same insanity surrounding security. This strikes me as very wrong and very suspicious. Does the government want to look after us or just look at us?
We have to be aware, that from the moment we wake up and look at our smartphone, and until we finally close our eyes and sleep, we are being watched. And if I know anything about these people, even our snoring will be recorded! Every message received during the night will be checked for suspicious activity.
But when a leading politician is found to be cavorting naked with two young men he had paid for, nothing is done and, in fact, he is effectively forgiven by spouse and party and given a promotion! He would have been open to blackmail and extortion, but he shrugged it off as if it was an everyday event. Of course knowing him, it probably was!
You couldn’t make this kind of thing up if you tried!
I don’t have an answer to any of this without suggesting we revert to the stone age, and starting from scratch. We had freedom, real freedom for a few fleeting decades, until technology allowed the state to treat all of us as potential criminals and terrorists.
We have to fight this despicable descent into dictatorship and let these poisonous morons know, that we know, that they know, we know what they’re doing!
For too long we have allowed people, who are public servants, paid for by taxes, to dictate who we can talk to, who we can meet, and who talks to us.
Open your eyes and take a look around, in a city centre, or virtually anywhere, and see for yourself just how many cameras are pointing down upon the people as they go about their daily lives.
We are all pictured dozens of times a day and probably thousands of times each year. It’s too much. It’s unnecessary. It’s a disgusting intrusion into mainly innocent lives. We are told it will ensure our safely and our freedom, but that was lost a long time ago.
At this time of year, we remember the sacrifice of the millions of people who gave their lives for democracy and freedom from tyranny. I don’t want to believe their sacrifice was in vain.
Think independently. Think freedom.
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ALSO BY MJ BLAIR
Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair