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The Panopticon state suffers a setback

The widely reported attempt by the state to extravagantly expend the list of state bodies with access to e-mail and telephone intercepts has been withdrawn in the face of strong cross-party opposition from politicians with a modicum of respect for at least the fiction of civil liberties.

However it is very important that people not judge the government just by the laws it has passed but by the laws it has tried to pass. The Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (RIPA) is bad enough as it stands without the latest astonishing power grab by the state, yet it shows once again if anyone doubted it that no matter what the state says about its modest intentions when taking upon itself new powers, the belly of Leviathan is filled with an insatiable hunger for more.

Bob Ainsworth, the Home Office minister is using The Big Lie technique to claim this is not in fact about crushing civil liberties but ‘protecting’ us all, so do not kid yourself that the advocate of a Panopticon Britain will give up so easily. What we need protection against is the British state or we will soon have a system of pervasive surveillance and intrusion that rivals that of the INS and IRS in the United States. Tony Blair was not joking when he promised to bring us ‘joined up government’. The line being drawn between those dots being joined up runs through the centre of our lives.

When the state watches you,
dare to stare back

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