free from the threat of being maimed or murdered by some lunatic who
thinks that the writings of a book from hundreds of years ago make it
acceptable to behave like a savage. On the other hand when I am living my
private life without harming anyone else I like to know that my life is
in reality private.
Is it wrong that we are being spied on by Intelligence services at the GCHQ
or NSA. Yes and No.
Are people simply accepting it because they cannot change it, Yes and No.
Do the vast majority of people simply not understand what this means. Yes.
Much of what we do is noted, it has been this way since humans developed
language long before the internet. What you used to buy in a shop was
known by the store keeper, how much you drank was known to the
landlord. Do something suspicious at home and curtains would be twitching.
As our technology has improved so too has our ability to communicate
and so has the scale and range of the trail we leave behind. Every
action taken leaves a trail. Meeting a friend why walking through town
and having a chat is noticed by passersby who will almost immediately
forget the event as unimportant.
However having the same chat online means every letter and word passes
through hubs, servers, data processors and other focal points. The more we
do on line the more we leave fingerprints behind.
The security services can find these anyway, making the online providers send
copies to the NSA/GCHQ simply makes the spies job easier.
This seems to be what has been happening since Microsoft, Yahoo, Google,
Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple have all be mentioned in the
prism reports. These represent the vast majority of social media and online
Revealing specific details of how our security services track and stop terrorists
only serves to weaken our security. I do not want such information made
known, I want every method possible used to stop another Boston bombing
or another 7/7.
But at the same time I also want to know that those same security services
are not tracking the lives of people who pose no threat to security.
Now we have laws to cover this. UK law, EU law, UN law, Data protection etc.
The right to privacy unless a court order has been issued. The rules and
regulations that cover this are pages long and that is just the titles.
We should be safe; we should be protected from unwarranted intrusion
into our private lives. Are we?
Who should be upholding those laws? Who should be watching over the
security services to ensure those laws are obeyed? Who should we be able
Our political leadership is widely held in very low regard and they have
done a great deal to deserve this reputation. Rather than the UK, the mother
of Parliaments, bringing other countries up to our high standards what has
happened is a political rush down to the lowest levels.
Humans are fallible. The problems come when for the best of reasons or
the worst of reasons these failings are ignored. Western governments
continue to downplay or ignore the threats to our society, our culture and
our lives posed by those who hate our religion, our freedoms, or the
fact that our government keeps fighting alongside the Americans, and yet
at the same time seem to be turning a blind eye to intensive intrusions into our
private lives in the name of combating the threat they say does not exist.
Orwell would recognise all of this. Doublethink he called it.
These threats are extremely real and must be looked for and stopped.
But mistakes happen, idiots are left in charge, politicians muddle and
We should be able to trust that our elected political leadership is able to
control these details.
We should be able to trust that our elected representatives are doing
their jobs, the jobs that we elected them to do, the jobs that the tax
payers of this country pay them to do.
We should be able to trust that our laws are protecting us, that our laws
are upheld and enforced.
We should be able to trust that we are safe from the threat posed by a
terrorist, an overzealous security spy or from a politician violating our
privacy for his own political ends.
Can we trust that this is the case?