Thursday, October 16, 2008

Orwell had no idea.

The Labour government has announced a bill which, if passed, will create a centralized database which stores every e-mail, web page visit, text message, fax and phone call in the country.

Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as "Orwellian".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.

And she promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.

Not because she doesn't want to store all that content, but because there's not enough drive space in the entire world to do it.  They're working on that part

. Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request - but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "The government's Orwellian plans for a vast database of our private communications are deeply worrying.

"I hope that this consultation is not just a sham exercise to soft-soap an unsuspecting public."

He said the government had repeatedly shown it could not be trusted with sensitive data, adding: "There is little reason to think ministers will be any less slapdash with our phone and internet records.

"Ministers claim the database will only be used in terrorist cases, but there is now a long list of cases, from the arrest of Walter Wolfgang for heckling at a Labour conference to the freezing of Icelandic assets, where anti-terrorism law has been used for purposes for which it was not intended."

"Our experience of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act suggests these powers will soon be used to spy on people's children, pets and bins.

"These proposals are incompatible with a free country and a free people."

Well, Britain hasn't been a free country for quite a while.  It stopped being free when guns became illegal.  No surprise that they've kept on turning the screw.  They can do any damn thing they want, who's going to tell them no? 

Pretty soon they'll have a global warming tax that charges you a couple quid every time you fart outside an approved Air Quality Protection Zone.  Your government issued "phone" will be keeping track.  Don't try to get it off friends, you get a nasty shock if you cut the strap, and they cut your food ration too.

4 comments:

da wolfe said...

When you take away a person's right to defend themself you get to step in.

Seen at Stormy Days of March: "neener neener..."

Admit you have a crush on her.

The Phantom said...

Too old and gnarly for a crush, wolfe. I just like pulling her chain a bit from time to time. She's so... earnest!

Faced with that, how can one resist ringing the doorbell and running away giggling? ~:D

da wolfe said...

lol, maybe I was just projecting. It's so true - earnest! She booted Fenris, I think because I started making cognitive dissonance for her by providing diversity of opinion. That's how it goes. I got booted off Rabble (haven't we all?) for trying to convince them that the HR tribunals are counterproductive by making employers fearful of lawsuits if they hire someone likely to put them through a tribunal if they get fired.

Ah well, happy days are here for conservatives : ) Now we get to deal with the economic trouble!

None of us are free. said...

Actually Britain stopped being free when nuclear weapons were made illegal.