Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where did the Liberal part go?

In the midst of the announcements of slender cuts to public spending in the UK, came the news that the government is to proceed with Labour's plan for data on every phone call, website visit, text message and email in the UK to be stored for one year.   Unlike Labour, which wanted the government collecting it on its own database, the Con-Dem coalition will impose the obligation on internet service providers and telecommunications providers.  The emails and text message details wont include the content, but it is still a big brother state seeking to have the capacity to engage in surveillance of anyone it wishes.   It is one thing to get a warrant to monitor the communications of a suspect, another to make private providers keep such records.  After all, what does a website visit tell anyone other than what someone may be curious about (does visiting an Islamist website make someone a sympathiser?).

The Liberal Democrats claimed that they would bring a commitment to individual freedom and a belief in a smaller state to this coalition.   It would appear that this has been stomped on by the jackboot of the Home Office and the obsessive paranoia of the law enforcement sector which always errs on the side of less freedom.

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