Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Big Brother?

A central database holding details of everyone's phone calls and emails could be a "step too far for the British way of life", ministers have been warned.

Plans for such a database are rumoured to be in the Communications Data Bill.
But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said "lines must be drawn" to defend "fundamental liberties".

The government says the growth of the internet means changes must be made to the way communications are intercepted in order to combat terrorism and crime.

In his annual report, Mr Thomas addressed speculation about plans for a government-run database holding details of telephone and internet communications of the entire British population.

From the BBC News website, 15 July 2008

This story worries me. I don't particularly have a problem with my telephone calls and internet usage being logged - this happens by the telephone companies and internet service providers anyway - but my concern is this 'central database' which the government will freely be able to get its hands on. Or not.

There's been a spate of stories recently about personal data going missing. Health records, tax records, bank details records - all have 'gone astray' from private companies such as courier firms or in some cases the government itself. Of course, when the Whitehall suits cock things up, Gordon Brown and his cronies rush out hastily prepared statements saying there's no risk and measures have been put in place to maintain confidentiality. They daren't say anything else - a statement urging everyone to check their bank accounts, credit card statements etc. would cause widespread panic. And this government is incompetent enough without having to deal with mass hysteria.

What would the government do with details of every phone call made in this country? Or with details of every website visited? Blogs such as these would immediately be targeted. If I were to post that Osama Bin Laden was residing in my shed in the garden would armed police be camped outside my door?

As Richard Thomas says in the above report lines must be drawn to defend fundamental liberties. A communications database with details of every phone call and website visited? What next? CCTV cameras on the front door of every house in the UK linked up to millions of tv screens in London?

Perhaps George Orwell's prose wasn't so far-fetched...


June said...

I agree with you Mike, you should see all the cameras that are posted in Seattle, from parks, to outside of bathrooms, to the Ferrys. If I want to pick my nose (which I never do), or adjust my skirt, etc, I know that someone will probably be watching me do it. It's good when they can catch the bad guys, but the rest of us have to be in the middle and everyone is under suspicion. It is really scary, you really can't joke about ANYTHING any more, it will all be taken seriously.

Oh and Mike, if you stop leaving food outside in the back of your house, maybe Osama will find another garden shed to hide in.

MrsAshleyPascal said...

Hold on a tic.......Osama's been hiding in the garden shed all this time?? LMAO


Mike Smith said...

He's been sleeping in the wheelie bin but I noticed his head sticking out the top.

That's when I knew it was 'Bin Laden' (see what I did there?)

Colin Campbell said...

Your Nabbed.

I am sure that the information storage companies are keen on this kind of proposal.

How much information does the state need?

Colin Campbell said...

Oh and that guy on the screen looks like you. Are you one and the same?

Adullamite said...

Your just afraid the famous Mrs S will be able to read all your posts and hear you phone conversations!

I wonder if she has been informed of your comments re her on J.Net....?

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