Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sorry dave, but i'm really not that interesting...

So the UK government plan to monitor all email and internet traffic.  And it is, of course, to keep us safe. If we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear, right?

Now, as an internet-savvy new media professional type (no really.  I am.  Shut up!), i have two wildly conflicting opinions on this...  First of all, i'm not planning insurrection or terrorism or any of that malarkey, so that puts me into the 'nothing to fear' category, right?  Hell, there's not even critical mass where i live, and if i was i probably wouldn't go, and i don't actually believe that protest does anything, especially if it doesn't get on the news.

So, i don't really care, to be honest. Dave, if he cared to look, could already get masses of data about me already if he wanted.  The government already has access to the records of my birth, the medical stuff i've had through my life, it knows where i went to school and what qualifications i have.  It knows everywhere that i've worked, what i've earned, when i've lived with a partner and when i haven't.

Even my bank knows where i am most of the time, which is why they occasionally switch off my debit card when i buy something somewhere a long way away from where i live.  If Dave and Theresa don't already have access to this stuff, it's an IT fail which they really want to talk to GCHQ about!  I watch NCIS:LA, i've seen those swishy plasma touch screens they've got!  I assume we've got the same stuff, and if we haven't then someone needs to get onto Ebuyer, they're not cheap but i assume they can afford it...

The Man, to be frank, is deluged with information about me.  None of which is particularly of interest.  Track me if you can, i'm really rather boring.  And actually, i'd be impressed if you could, google maps on my phone can only get within a couple of miles unless i'm connected to a wifi hotspot.

But.  Yes, i said there were two wildly conflicting opinions on this one.  We don't live in a fascist police state yet. And it's unlikely really, that we will. Does that mean i want some private security contractor picking me out on CCTV as looking a bit unusual and watching me going shopping? No. It's harmless but it makes me uncomfortable when i catch the camera moving out of the corner of my eye.  Do i want all those emails and texts between me and my significant other going via GCHQ? No, it's none of their business what we say to each other, plus it'll slow the damn network down!

I don't have an answer, is what i'm trying to say here.  Like as near to everybody as makes no difference, i'm not a terrorist.  Like everyone else, i'm just trying to get through the day.  I want to be left alone most of the time, and when i don't, i expect the authorities to do their damn job and come running when i need them.  Doesn't mean if i post a blog about civil liberties or chat to a friend on FB about how useless the government are, that i expect a knock at the door...  Watch out for my safety, don't watch me for my safety.  See the difference?

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