Britain is attempting to pass legislation that will allow the government to “track every phone call, email, text message and website visit,” all in the name of national security. While the article claims that the actual content of the communications will not be stored, the next logical step would be to store the data at some point in the future, according to the Telegraph.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the UK is already well known for its ubiquitous use of CCTV cameras. According to a London Evening Standard article written in 2007, Britain has a camera for every 14 citizens and also has 20% of the world’s CCTVs in the country.
The government’s rationale is that it helps keep people safe, claiming that data collection has played a part in 95% of investigations. It’s also the same logic that is presented for the ever-growing amount of cameras in the country, but according to Bruce Schneier, security cameras do not substantially reduce crime and it can be assumed that the same can be said for electronic communication monitoring.
The article goes on to state that there will be proper controls in place to prevent illicit use and preserve everyone’s freedoms, but there is no way to prevent information from being leaked the same way CCTV footage has been leaked.
Many people oppose this new requirement stating that spying on civilians does not actually improve security, but for every person who opposes these measures there are people who believe that their personal security is improved.