The Government’s plan to make Internet Service Providers capture personal communications data is nothing new. It was brought up under the last Labour government as the “Intercept Modernisation Programme” and received heavy criticism from the Tory party in opposition.
The article concentrates on the practicalities of recording people’s internet activity. For a more philosophical point of view about why it shouldn’t be attempted, see Sam Bowman’s Our road to serfdom. Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister has made “dramatic interventions” in defence of civil liberties.
One warning came from Michael Portillo, who apparently told The Moral Maze that government routinely abuses its powers. Another may be seen in Europe’s history of oppression enabled by technology: I quoted Albert Speer’s testimony at Nuremberg in an article for Big Brother Watch.
After re-reading this Open Europe report, I wonder the extent to which the Government’s plans are directed by the EU. I am having someone check.
What is sure is that I certainly did not stand for election in order to help roll forward Labour’s surveillance state. My posts tagged 1984 and privacy demonstrate my long standing outrage at the creeping development of state intrusion in the UK.
The Coalition Agreement says in section 3:
We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.
That is what I expect the Government to deliver.