Second is the increased blurring of the line between safety and security. Tony Bunyan again: "People wish to feel safe. Security is all about the interests of the State."
However, since 9/11 some degree of liberal restraint - and the sense that individuals should have a right to privacy - has been overturned before the altar of absolute security.
A sense of how things have changed may be gleaned from the Future Group report, which talks about harnessing the power of what it calls the "digital tsunami" for the benefit of law enforcement and security agencies. Or, as the EU Council presidency puts it:
"Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts."
The third factor that, according to Tony Bunyan, is working massively to erode traditional safeguards is the way in which the EU appears to be kowtowing to the demands of the US, without putting in place any corresponding safeguards for its own citizenry.
If you think it isn't happening, then take a look at chapter two of the Statewatch report, which sets out in fairly gory detail a list of schemes and initiatives already in place or underway in Europe.
Last word to Jean Lambert MEP, a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, who commented:
"The idea that information makes you safe is a total fallacy. Data capture needs to be proportional and effective and, put simply, more information becomes increasingly difficult to manage and evaluate. The Government and their outsourced agencies have already proven that they can't be trusted to keep data safe, so we need to exercise caution.
"Member States should have to prove why data capture is necessary and be very clear about who will have access to that data before they are permitted to use and store it. There should be a presumption against gathering citizens' personal data for the sake of it. Once data is held there is the potential for it to be misused by persons not acting in our best interests.
"I share the concerns of Statewatch and voted against the EU Directive on Data Retention and I will continue to fight other measures which could lead to infringements of our right to privacy. I agree that there is a need for meaningful and wide-ranging debate on this subject to avoid the further violation of our civil liberties." ®
[title removed by the Mental Hygene Police]
Jean Lambert MEP said "Member States should have to prove why data capture is necessary and be very clear about who will have access to that data before they are permitted to use and store it. [...] Once data is held there is the potential for it to be misused by persons not acting in our best interests."
Like Poole council using RIPA to justify wanting to intercept email and mobile phone communications to "prove" someone was living outside a school cachement area, or the (allegedly ) incorrect reports that certain councils wanted to start a 'doggie dna' register to identify "illegal" poopers?
If there is any hope...
it lies in the proles...
But the proles cannot rebel until they become aware, and they cannot become aware until they have rebelled.
Seems that there's more than NuLab who have adopted 1984 as a guidebook.
Orwell's real name was Blair. Coincidence, or what?
Some animals are more equal than others
so they are allowed to watch each and every second of our lives (for our own safety and good, of course) but we are not llowed to know anything about their, ehhmmm should I say, tresspasses.
It wasn't too long ago (I can't remember exactly when right now) when there were articles about a secret EP report discussing the lifestyles of MEPs, spending loads of european taxpayers' money (and also from the corporations that "sponsor" them-- without asking for anything in return, of course) to lead excessively luxurious lives and answering to noone for that.
The report was locked Swiss Bank style and to read it you had to:
a) be an MEP
b) sign a lot of papers saying that you will keep it a secret
c) then move in a chamber thad held the report, one person at a time, taking any kind of notes was not allowed
A british MEP was by accident presented to sign the wrong papers and so was not bound in any way to keep the secret. This caused some panic but he did not go on to publicise the report findings. As a matter of fact, neither did any other member of the EP, all those who care soo much for the Public Good and stuff...
And we are talking about a total of 785 MEPs in total, if I am not mistaken.
But they are the pigs, after all...in the Orwellian way, of course.