What a difference a spell in office makes.
The current British government want to pass legislation which will allow GCHQ in the UK on-demand access to anybody’s internet traffic, e-mails and phone calls. In a remarkable display of restraint, a warrant will have to be applied for before access is granted (though with this government, I’m certain that due process is but an inconvenience to be snuffed out imminently). This, if you need your memory jogged, is the same government who were utterly disgusted by the idea of the then-Labour government trialling a similarly heavy-handed bill devoted to half-inching our individual civil liberties on the quiet.
Of course, normal citizens won’t have to worry because only criminals and terrorist suspects are going to be targeted by this kind of measure and that almost certainly won’t include anybody critical of the government or similar, potential subversives.
I suppose it’s possible to argue that we already engage in regularly giving up our personal privacy online by participating in social networks, but that’s doable via supplying BS information and obfuscating enough details for us to comfortably participate on Facebook or Twitter. There’s not much you can do when the government’s latter-day equivalent of Gene Hackman in “The Conversation” is gaily listening to what you did at work today and on what you bought from Amazon.
What’s more scary – that this legislation will get through Parliament without anything in the way of a challenge or that the halfwits governing my county believe for a second that this snooping power will stop even one terrorist act from occurring?