Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Uncivil liberties

The idea that if you are against CCTV you are somehow for crime is the laziest argument I have ever heard. The other common one is ‘if you have nothing to hide, why should you care?’

Ummmm I don’t know. Why don’t we let our parents/friends/partners attach cameras and voice recording equipment to our jackets when we leave the house? Why is stalking a crime and restraining orders so common?

We have bought into this culture of fear so totally that we’re not even blinking an eye at random stop and searches and dodgy anti terrorism laws. We don’t care that we’re giving our tacit agreement to being treated like criminals by default and considered guilty until proven innocent.

There is one CCTV camera for every 14 people in the UK. That is a massive number at massive expense and still evidence says there has been no real effect on crime levels.

To make matters worse, the Data Protection Act fails spectacularly at protecting our rights to information gained under CCTV and surveillance.

The Home Office is now planning a £2bn move that asks private communications companies and service providers to expand the information they have on customers. Our every online move, each click and who we speak to will now be logged and monitored for the government, police and MI5’s use.

I don’t know what the solution is but I reject the premise of the choice being presented to me and the path it will surely take us down. The scariest thing about this whole situation is that we’re not talking about it; we’re not debating it amongst ourselves nor looking for another way.

If you are interested in finding out more, check out No2id who campaign for civil liberties.

Whatever your opinion is, join the debate.


  1. Remember in Amalfi at that Internet place? The lady apologised for having to ask for our passport copies to let us use the Internet. She said 'sorry, it's the new law for anti-terrorism'.

  2. haha no i didn't realize. pffff.... i told you not to tan! a friend of mine got stopped and searched a few months ago - did you know you get a receipt? In case you want to go and lodge a complaint like the indignity of being stopped in the middle of the street and patted down isn't enough of a disgraceful way to be treated during your weekly shop