UK Plans Database of Everyone’s Email and Internet Use

I’ve previously written about the plans for increased surveillance in Great Britian  here and here, and this morning new plans were reported in The Guardian. They report that, “The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone’s calls, emails, texts and internet use.” This sounds like the modern equivalent of Orwell’s warnings of televisions which watch everyone.

There have also been objections raised to this plan:

…Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, who has firsthand experience of working with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, told the Guardian such assurances would prove worthless in the long run and warned it would prove a “hellhouse” of personal private information.

“Authorisations for access might be written into statute. The most senior ministers and officials might be designated as scrutineers. But none of this means anything,” said Macdonald. “All history tells us that reassurances like these are worthless in the long run. In the first security crisis the locks would loosen.”

Macdonald’s objections are quoted again later in the report:

“The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment