Opinion

Is invasion of privacy worth the price of freedom?

By Nik Butler

It has been a busy time on the Internet and for those of who have broadband speeds fast enough to sustain a connection of any worth then you may already be part of the great American surveillance database.

The whistle on ‘Prism’ having been blown by Edward Snowden highlights that a foreign agency responsible for National Security and who provide information for the benefit of Homeland protection may have access to every email, website visit and phone conversation.

The information stored in databases for the benefit of Government retrieval or potential corporate espionage might seem utterly irrelevant compared to the daily issues of car parking charges in Swan Walk but it is the storm related to human rights and personal privacy into which we are all sailing.

The possibility that our own government may have been buying access to the information from America, whilst Theresa May MP tried to push through yet another snoopers charter which would substantially increase the access to your daily information, should have us meeting in cafes to plot our protests and plan on our dissension.

Sadly people seem more concerned for as to whom we will name the next Dr Who than who is doctoring our security through our identities. The scenario, whilst possibly fictional in our country, is already playing out in other countries where government administration continues to attempt to keep control and maintain status quo.

Post a comment on a popular Facebook page and a council officer might flag you as a person of interest whilst you try to formulate a protest or campaign to encourage people to join your group in order to protest a council action, you receive an email or a letter encouraging you to step away from the issue otherwise information about your life or the life of your loved ones may come to light which in turn may embarrass them or cause future employment problems.

You may believe this might never happen in the UK in which case you should check our tabloids. There has never been a better time to demand an honest account of our Governments involvement, our own Frances Maude MP constantly reminds us of the need for openness from the Government.

I cannot fathom the cost to the taxpayer for such security but in a time of austerity and cutbacks do we really feel this invasion of privacy is worth the price of Freedom?

2 comments on “Is invasion of privacy worth the price of freedom?

  1. Talking of surveillance I have started noticing more and more live CCTV cameras in Horsham town centre. I only started paying more attention to this after hearing one swivel and looked up to see it directly facing me. Since when were us residents consulted on this issue? It seems entirely disproportionate considering Horsham has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK. It is disturbing and certainly reflects badly on the council’s part.

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