Imagine for a moment, a Britain where every individual over the age of 3 years old, has their own personal government spy. This person sits next to as you watch TV, sits in the back of your car as you drive, walks around the shops with you, sits next to you at your desk, joins you in your bedroom at night, watches you as you text in the bath. All the time, he has a little notepad and makes notes on every thing you do, no matter how apparently inconsequential.
Is that a creepy, some might say, horrifying thought?
Well, you’ve no need to imagine it, because that’s exactly what the latest legislation – the IP Bill – will enable. Except the man with the notepad doesn’t need to follow you around, he can do it all from his desk at the local council office. Or the HMRC office. Or Whitehall. Or the local Police Station.
Are you really comfortable with that level of intrusion?
When RIPA (an early predecessor of this legislation) was introduced, the same arguments were trotted out:
- “it’s to keep us safe” (it didn’t)
- “it’s only for serious crime and terrorism” (it was used for dog fouling and school catchment areas)
- And so on.
There have been approximately 60 deaths on UK soil since September 2001, due to terrorism. In that time, 14 years, the death toll from Cancer in the UK alone is approximately 2.1 million people.
Even if you think this tiny “threat” to your life is worth the massive every day intrusion into it, is it really money well spent?