Thursday, 30 May 2024

The controversy over the revelation that the British intelligence services are using citizen’s private information collected by the US Government is disturbing but hardly surprising. Authority loves to collect information as it is a means of controlling citizens if need be (‘Knowledge is power’). They are not going to turn away such information as long as they can get away with it.
The US Government is using PRISM, an information-gathering program, to spy on the Internet activities of Americans and it seems British citizens too. Indeed, President Obama says certain information is only collected on non-Americans! There is also a suggestion that PRISM may have been used to spy on foreign businesses in competition with the United States. PRISM has given the FBI and the NSA the ability to tap into the servers of nine of the world’s top Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Skype.
The reaction of the establishment has been outrage. Not of the activity but the reporting of it! Our foreign secretary, William Hague, uses a hoary old formula when he says reports that GCHQ are gathering intelligence from phones and online sites should not concern people who have nothing to hide. We all know of course that once private information is collected it can end up in the hands of anyone, including those who do not have our best interests at heart!
Apart from using other Government’s to do our owns dirty work the latter are threatening to reintroduce the Data Communications Bill. This would allow our own Government to tap into our personal ‘communications’ history. They are using the Woolwich murder as an emotional, if inappropriate (as it would not be relevant), tool to force it back into Parliament and potentially into law.

We have said it before but Civil Liberties will sooner or later be an important political issue for the public but it may be after it is too late i.e. the State will already have the powers to snoop on us all. That is why it is vital that those of us who see the danger ahead resist this creeping surveillance NOW. You can contribute to this by signing the anti-DCB petition here Since Saturday is the 798th signing of the Magna Carta, a symbol of a citizens rights, why not sign it then!

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