Friday, 15 June 2012
Are We A Stasi State?
How often do we hear the words 'for our safety and security' dripping from the lips of our political representatives?
The UK is at war in Afghanistan under the pretext and now the British Home Secretary wants police to have access to our phone calls, texts and emails without the 'pressure' of applying for a court warrant. The justification is that only by having access to our confidential communications can the police and security services keep us safe from criminals and terrorists. The legislation will apply throughout the UK.
As usual those who approve believe in the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' adage. Teresa May's almost criminal disregard for our hard won freedoms is extraordinary.
To sweeten the pill Ms May proposes to remove the rights of local councils and other agencies to spy on our emails, phone calls and internet browsing.
When the coalition government came into power Cameron and Clegg vowed to rescind legislation which affected our civil liberties and the power for local government officials to enter our homes and spy on our activities was high on the agenda. It's only now being removed in order to sugar the pill of having greater intrusion into our personal privacy.
On yesterday's BBC Daily Politics programme (at 33 minutes) David Davis put forward a strong and sensible case against this new proposal. I would like to think the majority of MPs agreed with him, but somehow I feel they will pander to Ms May's obsession with acquiring and storing our private information.
After doing a little research in order to write this post, the answer is we already are a Stasi state. Eight years ago the then information commissioner, Richard Thomas, warned that we could be sleepwalking into an East German-style surveillance society. The sleepwalking has ceased because the objective has been reached.
Argyll and Bute council certainly has earned the title this week.