Monday, June 24, 2013

Snowden tells Britons nothing new on GCHQ!

Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, in his farewell lecture on 2├áth October 2008, set out the realities of the present surveillance society absolutely clearly. A link to a report of this speech is here while  a crucial portion of what he said on "Terror" was the following:

As I near my conclusion, let me, in my final public speech as DPP, repeat my call for level headedness and for legislative restraint in an age of very dangerous movements.
We need to take very great care not to fall into a way of life in which freedom's back is broken by the relentless pressure of a security State.
Over the last thirty years technology has given each of us, as individual citizens, enormous gifts of access to information and knowledge. Sometimes it seems as if everything in the world is at our fingertips and this doubtless has made our lives immeasurably richer.
But technology also gives the State enormous powers of access to knowledge and information about each one of us. And the ability to collect and store it at will. Every second of every day, in everything we do.
Of course modern technology is of critical importance to the struggle against serious crime and, used wisely, it can and will protect us.
But we need to understand that it is in the nature of State power that decisions taken in the next few months and years about how the State may use these powers, and to what extent, are likely to be irreversible. They will be with us forever. And they in turn will be built upon.
So we should take very great care to imagine the world we are creating before we build it. We might end up living with something we can't bear.

Gordon Brown, incumbent Prime Minister, ignored this warning and proceeded to gather all he could, as Snowden has now confirmed. Cameron has continued down that path.

A surfeit of "Sigint" seems to lead to madness. How else to explain Brown's last months in Downing Street and the clearly deranged proposals, backed by Cameron, Clegg, Hague Obama and much of the British Cabinet, to play with a proposal of arming jihadists in Syria?

Those wishing to go deeper into the dereliction of duty by all three main British political parties in setting up an effective fascist police surveillance state should read "GCHQ" by Richard J Aldrich, ISBN 978-0-00-727847-3

How we can ever emerge from this disaster, as Mr Macdonald in his prescient speech states, is probably now not possible. Perhaps Australia and Canada, where my grandchildren will hopefully grow up and live, can learn this dreadful lesson in time!

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