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?"

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I find it strange how people like like you equate surveillance to mass tyranny and prophesy world war 3. Please educate yourself on how Hitler and National Socialism came to power. This was due to political and economic upheavals that plunged Germany into chaos, not because German people gave up their rights. Once you have a dictator in power then anything can be used to oppress people - surveillance, police, jails, army, use of force and guns, and so on. Your democratic rights and freedoms can evaporate in a very short time, and no amount of blogging, lobbying and demonstrating will be able to bring those rights back, hence you could end up with a civil war. Nothing really guarantees that your democracy and freedom will always exist, because democracy can always turn on you and people can democratically vote for someone like Hitler and the new National Socialism. Wonder how Donald Trump got to power?

If you are worried about the rise of National Socialism and extreme ideology, then you need to worry about the government who do not not listen to its people and fail to improve their peoples' lives. When you have uncontrolled immigration, fear of crime/terrorism, low wages and stagnant economy, then people start voting for someone who has extreme views and promises to fix all their problems.

I would much rather have a sane government with proper surveillance and strong counter terrorism programs, as opposed to having some liberal tossers like Jeremy Corbyn who will plunge the country into chaos and destroy UK intelligence and military apparatus.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:


I would much rather have a sane government with proper surveillance and strong counter terrorism programs, as opposed to having some liberal tossers like Jeremy Corbyn who will plunge the country into chaos and destroy UK intelligence and military apparatus.

You make a good case for your view, but you still have to admit that delta0.delta0 and ilovebeer are absolutely right to look to history to point out the abuses of mass surveillance by authorities who misuse the system with no oversight. Hell, in the US our own NSA lied to congress and if it wasn't for someone courageously whistle-blowing the facts and willing to be labeled a traitor by the largest military force in the world, then even our elected representatives wouldn't know what's going on. Now, that's f***ed up.

Government is suppose to serve the people and we're supposed to be the boss of it, not the other way around. So if anything, the government activities should be monitored by the people it's working for rather than them monitoring us. It happens slowly and covertly enough that most of us don't notice the shift in power. But a government that's contemplating entitlement to mass-monitor private citizens is already showing dangerous signs of turning into an authoritarian regime. Even assuming today's leaders are well-intentioned, eventually one with a propensity for power and disregard for law will find a way to use it to empower the leader and his party and against his personal enemies.

Edited 2016-11-26 15:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

rom508 Member since:

Every major country engaged in spying for many many decades. It has been going on for such a long time, it is not really news anymore. Certain things are meant to be secret and only known to a small group of people, otherwise they wouldn't be secret anymore. Certain government departments have operational independence and make their own decisions on how things need to be done. If you had incompetent politicians and joe public constantly sticking their noses into their business and telling those departments what to do and how to do it, then NSA, CIA, FBI, etc would be tied in red tape and would not be able to function very effectively.

You can't really be the boss of government, it would be chaos if everyone had a say in every decision and policy. You elect a government that represents your views and let them do the job until the next time when people have to vote.

People on these forums rant on about how they don't trust the government and how the government is this evil freedom oppressing machine. Well the very reason why people have their freedom and security is because the government is there protecting the freedom and security. No government is perfect and mistakes are made, but you trust hospitals when you need urgent medical treatment, you trust police to help you when someone burgles or attacks you, you trust the safety of roads, bridges and public transport, you trust the army to protect you against foreign and domestic enemies.

Reply Parent Score: 1