Monday, 1 October 2007

Big Brother is listening

Today marks another turn of the screw of our stasi-loving masters, as new laws on data retention of telephone records come into force. Prior to now, phone companies were complying with a "voluntary code", which is the usual thin end of the wedge (e.g. ID cards). Now it's all mandatory.

As with so many of the new powers the state is claiming for itself, it came in on the back of the "terrorist threat" as part of the Anti-terrorism, crime and security Act 2001. So naturally, these powers are for use against terrorists, right? Wrong, any crime actually. But it's only the Police doing it, the good old boys in blue? No. In fact 650 different agencies will have access to the records in one form or another.

Interestingly, according to Metro a Home Office spokesmen said the law followed a directive from the EU, which is rather disingenuous, considering the efforts made by the Blair regime to force through data retention on the rest of Europe when the UK held the presidency, according to Statewatch, who said back in 2005:

"At a time when the UK is using its EU presidency to rush data retention through the legislative process in the name of the investigation and prevention of crime it really is time for reflection."

UK government, EU government, they're just different horns on the same beast.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting, I detect alienation from your own culture... what is more interesting, I feel more and more at home here. What's been going on in England is becoming more and more familiar to me. Well, I was brought up on the other side of the Iron Curtain where I did not even realise at that time that we were like a herd of sheep. Naturally, the means are different, but isn't the end the same?

JP said...

I love the state , and think the state loves me. All hail the state.
The state doesn't like naughty Librans.

Trooper Thompson said...

Anon,

The means are a lot more sophisticated, but the end is the same - total control.

jp,

sounds like the sort of thing someone says as they're being dragged off to a dungeon.