Posted by: Will Rhodes
This may seem odd, a comparison that doesn’t make sense in one way – but it is how my sleeping mind works.
I have been following the UK ‘New’ Labour government’s intrusive legislation into the ordinary citizen’s life. Now how did I come to compare that with the Wii game I am plying? That is Zelda, Twilight Princess, by the way – just for clarity.
I have been thinking long and hard as to why this government – or any government would want unfettered access to what the ordinary citizen was doing in private – in their own home.
What I see is an abyss of what the people want and what the government think that they want, like Midna transporting Link from one place to another not having to interact with any of the characters. I see a great divide in what government think is its responsibility to the people and what the people see as just intrusive beings both swept away with power and some sort of indoctrination once they get that power.
Where the people are on a cliff where Link can drop to his virtual death without Midna transporting him, as a wolf, over a few leaps to the centre where the evil shadow lord is waiting for the big battle.
The government sits on the moated centre discussing what policy should be brought forward next – not thinking that anyone will protest about what they are doing – and all this paid for by the very people who will be spied upon.
I am in my 40’s – so I have seen the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s – and what I have seen most of all is that it is always, almost invariably Conservative governments that wish to bring this snooping legislation in by the back door – always saying that it is for the public good and it is for the best interest of the person.
Yet, why do they need to see what every person in the country who should have access to the internet is doing?
It just does not make any sense at all, none!
Crime – or the prevention of it, is one excuse – another is sex, another is the protection of children. But I ask you to look at the statute books of your country – how much legislation is there there all ready, just for these crimes – hundreds, thousands? How many amendments are there to those laws that make them far more reaching than before? Again – it doesn’t make logical sense.
So why would any government use the same excuse that they want to see what every internet user is doing?
We have a problem here – and it is becoming more apparent to the ordinary Joe who wants to do his/her online banking and is, genuinely, scared of even doing that. The internet has been plagued by stories of hackers (crackers) stealing your identity at any given moment – and yes, this does happen. But to intrude on what people are doing – who wouldn’t know how to crack a computer if it was laid out in a line drawing – why do the government need to see what that person is doing online? And for that government to say this is the price we pay for a free society is just complete bollox!
The vast, vast majority of people, both online and off – are not criminals, are not grooming, are not organising the next great bank robbery. So the intrusion into their lives is an invasion of privacy by government – whether the pretext of protecting them is used or not.
So why would it be seen as an offence to protest on the streets if a group of people felt so strongly about something? Why don’t (impossibility) the government come out and tell the truth as to why they are doing all these things?
We do have the “If you have nothing to hide” group still shrill in their defence of such laws – until it hits them – much like the Middle-class who are now finding themselves out of work – it can’t happen to them, now can it?