18 June 2008

Our Chains Will Make Us Free

How Orwellian is this:

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has defended the apparatus of the UK's emerging surveillance society as the means to bring liberty to the people.

Britain's infamous identity cards, CCTV, biometrics and DNA scanners will make people more free by making them more secure, he said yesterday in defence of his security strategy.

Brown has seriously lost it.


Anonymous said...

...nd the sooner he gets lost the better! p

Andrew Katz said...

It scares me too. Something has just occurred to me: I frequently rail at people who talk about "copyright theft" pointing out the crucial distinction between being permanently deprived of something (you steal my car, I can't use it any more), and having an opportunity removed (you copy my book, I've still got the book, although I may have lost an opportunity to sell it to you). The latter is clearly much less serious than the former.

However, in "theft classic", there's always the possibility that I can get my car back, or I can be properly compensated for its loss (true most of the time - admittedly the thief can steal a family heirloom and destroy it, but bear with me).

There's a third sort of loss which really worse than "theft classic" and that's the theft (or release) of personal information. Once my personal, private information is made available to the public, it CANNOT be made private again, and, in many cases, I CANNOT be properly compensated for its release.

Hence, government policy should be based on the premise that personal information should be protected even more carefully than it would protect its physical assets. All surveillance systems, ID card systems and databases involve the government asking me to trust it to hold this information even more safely than it would protect its physical assets. Neither in word, nor, certainly, in deed, does the government at all recognise that such protection is paramount.

glyn moody said...

Interesting analogies....