Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The digital police state - not so far away at all


You, of course, have nothing to fear. You are an honest citizen and Judge Dredd isn't going to swoop down and exercise summary judgement over any infringement. Or so you think and you call for more CCTV cameras, for DNA databases, for biometrics on passports, for speed cameras and for in-car tracking devices. And the government smiles benignly as it rushes to comply with your desire for security - protection from terrorists they say or 'responding to anti-social behaviour'. Sometimes it's even simpler - the government tells you as it licks its chops that these measures will be ever so convenient for you as you go about your life.

We have constructed much of the infrastructure for control and it is but a short step to tie all this together:

….everything a regime would need to build an incredibly intimidating digital police state—including software that facilitates data mining and real-time monitoring of citizens—is commercially available right now.

And don't pretend that this digital police state will be in China or Saudi Arabia, it's as likely to be right here in Britain. They'll say you have "rights" but they'll also know that surveillance brings power that mere rights do not protect. And those rights will be shoved aside for 'security', for 'community safety', all lovingly enforced by the authorities and a a legion of 'concerned citizens'.

I hope I am wrong and that this isn't the path we're set on. But I am right to fear what that path means.


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