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Former GCHQ Chief Wants Surveillance Society

According to a BBC report, the former GCHQ chief Sir David Pepper has said that he believes that all internet and phone traffic should be recorded “to fight terrorism”.

This is the same line that David Blunkett, John Reid and Jacqui Smith have spun, the creation of a total surveillance society where every aspect of our lives are logged.  Every phone call made, every e-mail sent, every website visited, everywhere you go.

The mantra of this Labour “government” is simple:

Everyone is a criminal, they just haven’t been caught yet.

I showed the Wikipedia page about Sir David to my other half.  Her response was “So basically he’s never been outdoors.”  One could certainly argue that from what the Wikipedia page says (usual caveats about Wikipedia) that Sir David would seem to be very much a person of theories and policies rather than real life practicality.

I’m sure that Sir David means well but advocating the routine wiretapping and surveillance of everyone is not the act of someone who believes in freedom.  It is the act of someone who believes in the right of the state to monitor everyone and everything without recourse to due judicial process.

The View From Airstrip One is a Flickr photo pool dedicated to highlighting the state of Britain today as it heads towards a dystopian future.  This photo and this photo would seem to be the kind of things Sir David wants to see in this country.

You won’t often see President Obama and Judas Priest mentioned in the same sentence but you will here.  Here is a quote from President Obama’s inauguration address and some lyrics from Judas Priest:

We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

This country is (for the moment) a free society.  Imposing this routine monitoring of everyone turns this country into a state like Nazi Germany or Stalinist USSR.  Already the “government” is trying to spread fear and distrust with “anti terrorist” campaigns encouraging people to inform on their neighbours if there is something they don’t like about them.  Nazi Germany anyone?

Start Sunday morning with some classic rock in the form of Judas Priest’s album Screaming For Vengeance.  Here are the words to Electric Eye (you can listen to the song here):

Up here in space
I’m looking down on you
My lasers trace
Everything you do

You think you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye

Always in focus
You can’t feel my stare
I zoom into you
You don’t know I’m there

I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye

Electric eye, in the sky
Feel my stare, always there
There’s nothing you can do about it
Develop and expose
I feed upon your every thought
And so my power grows

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye
I’m elected electric spy
I’m elected protective, detective, Electric Eye!

I’m sorry Sir David.  I don’t doubt that intelligence is very challenging work.  If you want surveillance on named suspects then you go through judicial procedures to justify it.  That is how law enforcement in a democratic society works.

If you want surveillance on everyone then you aren’t interested in protecting the way of life of a free society.

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