c/o No2ID /UK
Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family's personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.
Last year's public outcry against a Communications Data Database -intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing - forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn't end there.
The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it isheld, forms a digital dossier on YOU... and your family.
Even national security is no excuse for blanket surveillance of everyone's communications, but the Digital Economy Bill would now make allegations of copyright infringement sufficient grounds for 'fishing expeditions' (speculative searches) in the data retained by ISPs - thereby ensuring the technology must be in place to enable mass surveillance by other agencies and organisations.
With a new unit set up at the Home Office just last month to push forward the £2 billion 'Interception Modernisation Programme' (IMP), it isn't hard to imagine who else'll be snooping too.
Open Rights Group (http://www.openrightsgroup.org) and others continue to campaign against measures in the Digital Economy Bill. They have various objections - but as NO2ID we have to be concerned about any pretext for mass surveillance without any form of warrant or oversight.
Interception of communications was historically so sensitive that it was made into a power exercised only on the approval of the Home Secretary that cannot be even mentioned in court. We fail to see why recording all your communications (and providing technical means for them to be arbitrarily investigated) is any different to opening your letters orsecretly breaking into your home.
Please do write to your MP (http://www.writetothem.com/) in your own words, expressing your concerns.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Data Sharing escalates UK for e-government and UN status, accolades
The UK has the dubious accolade of jumping several places in the United Nations' 2010 e-Government Development Index, from tenth place in 2008 to fourth place in 2010. This puts the UK "ahead" of all other European countries, and behind South Korea, the United States, and Canada. Much of the e-government agenda is about smoothing the way for wholesale data sharing. A UN overview of the report states that: "The public trust that is gained through transparency can be further enhanced through the free sharing of government data based on open standards." Not a view that many privacy conscious UK citizens share.
The full report will be online soon at