Saturday

On Confused War on terror and Government Spying

I was reading various news items on Government spying and monitoring their citizens when I came across this news item.

Maryland Police and their War on Terror

This illustrates my extreme opposition to the routine spying and monitoring of ordinary law abiding citizens. The problem is that if you start monitoring people and storing information on external databases, that data inevitably gets abused and misinterpreted.

To quote from the article

Oppose the death penalty? Must be a terrorist. Oppose the Iraq war? Terrorist. Anti-abortion? Interested in human rights? Opposed to government policy in general? Terrorist, terrorist, terrorist.


This is what happens, and it also happens by looking at the electronic surfing of ordinary people. If I come home from the bar one night after discussing some act of terrorism or religious wars and use the internet to look up more information - how does that look in my web browsing logs ?

Remember that these logs about you and me are stored in Europe and available to external agencies -
see my post Freedom Not Fear and I suspect in most countries in the world.

It probably makes me look like a terrorist!

Looked up Jihad web sites - check
Mooched around arabic forums - check
Read lots of news items on terrorism - check.

It sounds incredibly simplistic but.......

When told that the Maryland police regretted spying on their citizens and where going to purge their files.

"What does that mean?" he asked during an interview. "They've already put it into an interagency database. How many times has it been downloaded by various field agents and other agencies? How many times has it been re-indexed, reincorporated, merged into other databases, put on backup tapes that might be restored onto something else years from now?

"Information is never destroyed. And then someday, it's like you don't get on a plane. Am I being paranoid?"


This is the reality of spying on your citizens, freedom of speech becomes dangerous, false assumptions are made, Big brother takes more and more control. Fear takes over from freedom even in the democratic world, such is the inevitable consequence of government spying and monitoring our lives and our web browsing.

0 comments: