Friday, December 28, 2012

Government program to track everyone's internet and mobile phone use

It is not Iran, China or Russia or any country that might more resemble a dictatorship by one or a few - it is the United Kingdom. A country hardly get anymore democratic. But their home secretary had proposed a 1.8 billion pound program to 'track everybody's internet and mobile phone use." [Guardian UK].

Of course there is a good reason to collect the data -  "so the police and security services can use it to tackle serious crime." And of course they will only keep the data for 12 months. Trust us.

The proposal has failed, not because of some outrage over privacy rights - but costs. And, oh yes - there are those petty civil liberty objections.

How can any politician living in a country that reeks of democracy proposed a program that so infringes on the privacy and speech rights as to eliminate those rights?

It is a cautionary tale. Sleep with one eye open when the government is proposing programs to protect the citizenry. E.g., Senate approves measure to renew controversial surveillance authority.

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