The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has clarified comments by the UK's top prosecutor, denying that he supports proposals for a centralised warehouse of private communications data. A Home Office consultation is scheduled to open later this month on whether a system should be built to collect and store details of every call, …
Invasion of privacy?
"Any invasion of privacy will have to have a legitimate purpose"
I'm glad they're 'fessing up to invading privacy now.
My friend Ian
was the one who first convinced me that everything of ours was being listened to, scanned, read etc. At first I dismissed it as the rantings of a part-time loony; after all here was a chap who locked himself out of his budget Mexican hotel room and had to walk down several flights of stairs to tell the night receptionist what he'd done - all whilst naked.
He used to insist on opening every telephone call with the gambit "president bomb Allah". It was his form of civil disobedience. "Let's make every single communciation require scanning," was his reasoning, "then the whole task will prove so massive as to be impossible to undertake." And I can't help thinking that there's something in that logic.
However, Ian does remain the only friend of mine who has had his front door machine-gunned to matchwood by the police. No conspiracy there though; the police had the wrong address and meant to blindly machine-gun the occupants of the house next door into submission.
sounds like a great idea
record every form of communication people have! then store it in:
a safe place(tm)
after all its not like it could ever be hacked or left on a train now is it.
but what a way to undermine peoples trust during a time of war, hack the countries CitizenTap(tm) but then send all that info back to the subjects, then tell them that if they let you take over the country they will destroy all this spyware for good, the new governments gift to the people?
Echelon is already collecting all this information so all they're arguing about is how much to admit to, not the deed itself.
It's not just the legitimate messages that need processing
What about the spam that forms the bulk of email sent out? How many viagra emails are they going to end up storing?
Guilty until proven innocent
At a briefing on Friday the Director of Public prosecutions Kier Starmer said: "By its very nature criminal investigation touches on privacy. I think the right balance for any investigation or prosecution has got to have a legitimate purpose. Investigation of crime is a legitimate purpose."
"Any invasion of privacy will have to have a legitimate purpose, be necessary and proportionate, and have effective safeguards. If those features are in place it is obviously legitimate to collect data."
I quite agree that criminal investigations rightly impinge on 'privacy', the problem with the governments database is that it presumes we are all potential criminals and engages in 'criminal investigation' against all of us by capturing our data.
Just another move towards the police state we are increasingly living in.
That wouldn't be the New Labour tactic of spinning someones statements in the press to show support, when they actually mean nothing of the sort. See the recent spat on official statistics.
Didn't Oliver North suggest something like this?
And that was with a previous (or two, or three!) version of Everybody's Favorite OS(tm). If the septics had to drop the Total Information Portal because there wasn't enough storage in the world, how will we do it with three or four generations of OS bloat to contend with, plus all the "improvements" in phone messaging etc that will need to be stored as well?
And ain't it wonderful to know that the bastards have to listen to everything just in case Yusuf Bl'oggs down the road might turn out to be a terrorist - better hope you don't order anything from a slightly dodgy takeaway in case some mad mullah called there too...
Communications Database is Only the Beginning...
All this may sound like science fiction, but with the supercomputers being used by the NSA I think ubiquitous surveillance is wholly plausible. I think whether through accident or design, technologies are being linked together that will enable a more complete picture of people's lives to be built up by both commercial companies & governments (sometimes their interests converge). There's an article in today's Times by the editor of Wired saying that facial recognition is a big new area in surveillance that will soon be able to track people across cities (possibly in combination with automatic numberplate recognition cameras).