Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Berlin Wall season: Stasi, UK style

The East German Stasi had the stereotypical German efficiency and thoroughness, for noting down every last detail in its surveillance operations. There was one Stasi officer for every 166 citizens, compared to one Gestapo officer for ever 2,000 under the Nazis.

So is it not notable to see the report today in the Daily Telegraph that while the UK government is abandoning a central database to gather details of ALL telecommunications traffic in the UK (all calls made, all SMS, all emails, all internet browsing) it is to legally require all telecommunications carriers and internet service providers to hold such information. Effectively privatising state surveillance functions, imposing a cost on them all.

Who will be able to access this?

653 central and local government bodies will be able to do so. All local authorities, Police, emergency services, prison governors.

Who won the Cold War?

3 comments:

KG said...

"Who won the Cold War?"
Is this a trick question?
I blogged on the latest plan to put council snoops into every UK home yesterday..as Erich Honeker famously said: "of course our (East German) people are free--they're free to do anything that's not expressly forbidden."

Anonymous said...

This is scary stuff. More than 650 organisations are effectively saying that your business is their business. Ian.

libertyscott said...

Yes, no warrants, nothing. Just every call, every email, every website you go to, it all can be monitored. "So you go to lots of websites about tax law, maybe we should audit you".

It's chilling, law enforcement agencies simply saying "if we knew more we could catch more bad people" and the drones in the House of Commons nodding.

Of course, it totally ignores that serious criminals use anonymous cellphones and anonymous remailers and proxy servers in other countries to ply their trade.