It's like they never read 1984

Posted on Tue 20 May 2008 in general

I don't know why this government has such a fetish for these grand monitoring schemes. From ID cards to detention without trial this has got to be one of the most illiberal governments we have ever had in this country. The state has no right to routinely monitor me "just in case" I am going to be a suspect in future. The very approach of treating citizens as potential suspects is a fundamental shift in power that's un-warranted. The world hasn't changed, we are not living in a new world order that demands these measures. Terrorists are not the greatest threat to life in this country and the sooner the population as a whole stop swallowing the line that it's all for our own good the better.

I'm not against phone tapping or email monitoring systems as tools for law enforcement. However these measure should be carried out as a result of judicial approval given reasonable suspicion to warrant it. When you start databasing the whole state you start relying on data mining rather than good old fashioned human intelligence. Data mining is great for telling you how many people buy crisps in a certain postcode, it's less useful for exposing a terrorist network. Funnily enough normal law abiding people do talk to terrorists every day. How long will it be before that phone call discussing fund raising for the local mosque lands you jail for 42 days? Will that help or hinder getting the "community" on our side. Just witness the effect that stop and search has had on alienating the black community from the police.