Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 15:53 UTC

The UK is about to become one of the world's foremost surveillance states, allowing its police and intelligence agencies to spy on its own people to a degree that is unprecedented for a democracy. The UN's privacy chief has called the situation "worse than scary." Edward Snowden says it’s simply "the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy."

The legislation in question is called the Investigatory Powers Bill. It's been cleared by politicians and awaits only the formality of royal assent before it becomes law. The bill will legalize the UK's global surveillance program, which scoops up communications data from around the world, but it will also introduce new domestic powers, including a government database that stores the web history of every citizen in the country. UK spies will be empowered to hack individuals, internet infrastructure, and even whole towns - if the government deems it necessary.

"Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame?"

Permalink for comment 637566
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Why brexit?
by PhilPotter on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why brexit?"
Member since:

Whilst I'll agree our electoral system (first past the post) is utterly broken, it is an unfair characterisation to describe the majority of the tory party as far right. This law is certainly troubling, and it should be opposed and discussed. That said, I don't think it helps to frame the discussion in terms of a totalitarian party - the fact they are in power is as much a fault of the shambles of an opposition we have as anything else. The Tories, whilst a nasty bunch of gits, are hardly a far-right party. Likewise, the law calls for no such thing as a government database that I'm aware of - the records would be maintained by ISPs themselves. Still totally unworkable though.

To help frame my viewpoint - I am traditionally a labour voter but actually voted liberal last time - mainly because they opposed and successfully blocked the first iteration of this law.

Reply Parent Score: 3