Thursday, October 21, 2010

Orwell . . .

. . . Returns

To the UK, that is.

From: The Times

Ministers are considering spending up to £12 billion on a database to monitor and store the internet browsing habits, e-mail and telephone records of everyone in Britain.

GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, has already been given up to £1 billion to finance the first stage of the project.

Hundreds of clandestine probes will be installed to monitor customers live on two of the country’s biggest internet and mobile phone providers - thought to be BT and Vodafone. BT has nearly 5m internet customers.

I don't live in the UK, but this concerns me. Whether it was Wilde or Shaw or Russell or Churchill, we are indeed two countries separated only by a common language.

Although the UK has no constution, per se, and therefore no bill of rights, certain rights of individuals are assumed - whether by statute or convention. Beyond that, peoples in a "free" country have evolved a zone of comfort about that which the government may or may not control.

I am very interested in the outcome of this proposal. Are the citizens of the UK willing to have every communication recorded in order to provide some (perceived) higher level of security?

If that happens, have not "They" won?