That Wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke…
As much as I wish it were, the news of the new ‘snooping law’ that has been passed by the Home Office is not a hoax. It was announced today that the British Government is forcing all internet companies in the UK to comply with the GCHQ, who can now legally intercept any email or phone-call and pinpoint ‘who, where and when’ without a magistrates’ warrant. Naturally this has sparked opposition from several civil liberties groups who believe this is a breach of our privacy.
I wrote a full article on the matter at NoobyNews, to read it for yourself click here. I decided to talk about it on my university blog because this is an issue within the digital world as much as the physical one, and for that reason it draws a lot of similarities with the ‘Google issue’ I discussed previously.
It took me quite some time to come to terms with the fact that this is not actually a joke, as everything about it seemed sketchy. This is actually going to happen, the government can now monitor our communications to an extent they never enjoyed before. It’s in the name of better security against terrorism, but personally I think this is an excuse to squeeze the people a little bit more, putting paranoia into practice. The police (believe it or not) are capable of chasing down terrorists within our borders, this is nothing more than a political move. If you tell people you are going to monitor them 24/7 they will eventually get paranoid. People will worry about what they ‘have to hide’, but more importantly they will worry about what they are being ‘protected’ from. They will worry about terrorism so much that they will accept being spied on: If you push someone to the wall, go through their belongings and flash them the badge they will agree it is ‘for their protection’, that’s the post 9/11 world we live in.
Nothing is more powerful than fear and in a time when the masses are politically awakened to the point where they will question the government’s every move, certain measures must be taken. This is to remind them ‘who is in charge’, that authority is needed to save us from the ‘bad guy’ and there is no need to question the way things are.
In practice the Government simply do not have the resources to sit and go through 60 million files, they must forget that a lot of terrorists can be hidden within society, never to cause a stir until the day they are ‘activated’. It’s just like SOPA all over again; a bunch of dusty old politicians who don’t fully understand the complexity of the internet think they can catch a perp by smoking out the entire hive. The principal yet again falls victim to a higher agenda.
Most of us have nothing to hide from the Government, so don’t forget that. Fear is a weapon of mass destruction.