April 4, 2012
Surveillance means safety. This is the argument wherever and whenever governments seek new powers to monitor their citizens. Proposed legislation in the UK to enable police and intelligence services to access emails, Skype calls and Facebook messages is another such example. It is also another case of the unnecessary and dangerous expansion of state power, in collaboration with companies, into our online – and offline – lives.
The UK government has said that without a warrant it could only get “who, when and where” forms of data – times, dates, numbers and addresses of communications – not the content of emails, chat messages or Skype calls. The latter would still require a warrant, according to the government. Some critics are sceptical, and rightly so.