24 January 2009

Taking a stand against Big Brother

No, I don’t mean the television series. The British Government is planning to create a centralized database to maintain records of all our phone calls, emails and web activity. To set our minds at rest, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has promised that they won't store the content of our messages and calls. All they are interested in is the times, dates, duration and locations of phone calls, numbers called, websites visited and addresses emailed. The potential for creating a vast web of guilt by association is only too obvious.

But is there anything we can do to register our displeasure? As it happens, the Bishop of Buckingham has recently blogged about one possibility. He mentions a Facebook group called “cc all your private emails to Jacqui Smith Day.” The idea is that on a given day every member of the group will blind copy all their emails to the Home Secretary. And then we’ll see just how much of a decrease there is in crime and international terrorism thanks to all that information!

1 comment:

Eamonn said...

Thank you for drawing attention to this. The proposed database, ghastly as it is, is not the only threat to our freedoms. You can be required by over-enthusiastic and ill-informed police officers to desist from photographing buildings or trains. Trainspotting is not a statutory offence (yet!), but the prevailing paranoia has created a situation in which the existing law is ignored, on the principle 'if it moves, question or detain it'.