International Mutual Snooping?
Occasionally, I see it said that different countries mutually snoop on each other's citizens, so as to get around domestic laws protecting citizens from their own (but not each other's) governments.
"GCHQ is not developing technology to enable the monitoring of all internet use and phone calls in Britain, or to target everyone in the UK."
If, instead, it's to monitor all foreign traffic that passes through the UK, and if, say, various other countries are doing likewise, the end results would be much the same - we're all getting spied and snooped on, monitored, logged and so on, anyway. With international co-operation in the fight against terrorism, extremism (non-mainstream politics), organised crime, etc (everything else), it means that GCHQ's MTI project might be even more sinister, partly because it's not directly targetted at UK citizens.
Compare it with Jacqui Smith's recent "climbdown" regarding IMP. Rather than have a single, central database run by the State, she wants ISPs to build and run distributed databases instead. The feeble excuse of privacy concerns obviously doesn't stand up for even a second, but it does show how she regards us, the masses. She'll spin as a climbdown something that's no better, and possibly worse.
Joining up the dots, why wouldn't MTI (or some other GCHQ project) be part of some grand international collaboration to get around domestic privacy laws and the like?
Maybe that sounds a bit tinfoil hat, but how much stuff these days sounded tinfoil hat ten or fifteen years ago? Imagine in 1994 if someone claimed that, in 2009, the UK government would be pressing ahead with plans to log details of all phone calls, emails, web browsing, etc. Wouldn't that have sounded tinfoil hat? And again with taking photos in public places, seeking details of police officers, etc, etc.
If MTI isn't for snooping on UK citizens, then who is it for snooping on? And what's the bigger picture that really fits into?