Theresa May is determined to step up surveillance. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Courtesy of Nick Cohen @ The Guardian:
“It won’t be me,” I hear you say. And, of course, I accept you are not a criminal, after all. The worst you do online is post stupid comments when you are drunk and masturbate to porn when you think no one is watching. When the government says it wants to take away the passports of wannabe jihadis, why should you care? I don’t. Islamic State marks the bloody end of Britain’s version of identity politics. With more British Muslims fighting for Isis than serving in the British army, the least we can do is make amends to a bleeding world by stopping radical Islamists leaving to murder, enslave and rape. In any case, you and I are not going to Syria, are we?
I doubt the state’s ban on hate preachers visiting universities will alarm you either. Students and college administrators have banned just about everyone with controversial opinions. The London School of Economics and the University of West London have even harassed and barred secularists, who wanted to expose the theocrats proselytising against women, Jews and gays on campuses. Some of us warned the universities that if they did not defend freedom of speech the state would remove their freedom. They didn’t listen and now it has gone. Serves the fools right.
I suspect that Theresa May’s order that internet and mobile phone companies must allow the police to identify who was using a device and when will probably fail to stir you too. Essential clues for 21st-century crime fighters, you could say. Better to help the police catch dangerous men than let them escape justice.
I am not so sure. I am not worried by what the Home Office is doing but by what it wants to do. Nick Clegg has lost count of the number of times he has had to intervene to stop the security establishment crushing basic liberties. The Liberal Democrats blocked the police and intelligence services having access to the web histories of you, me and everyone else. They stopped them inserting “black boxes” to intercept web traffic. Continue reading