Big Brother Britain & Civil Liberties
Fight against UK governments attack on our civil liberties with Big Brother Britain initiatives

Will government postpone Big Brother Britain Database?

Amid mounting public concern and disquiet about New Labour’s attempt to build a Big Brother Database are signs that the “debate” may be moved to 2009. According to reports, Jacqui Smith has indicated that the government will have an open discussion next year. In what amounts to an relatively new offensive for this government, there are mounting public concerns over the ramifications that this project, which would be included as part of the ‘Data Communications Act’, may have on individual privacy.

Whilst Jacqui Smith has insisted that the content of emails, internet sessions and phone conversations would not be stored, it is quite clear that this government has lost the trust of the vast majority of the British public. Many of us will remember how we were promised a referendum on the EU Treaty as part of Labour’s manifesto commitments. New Labour subsequently attempted to hoodwink the public by renaming the treaty and saying that is was something different, assuming that the public were naive or stupid enough to accept these assurances.

We also know that this government will readily use anti-terror legislation in order to sieze the assets (as in the case of the Icelandic Bank), even though this was not what the law was intended for and there was far more appropriate legislation that could have been used. Then of course, there was the example of a local authority snooping on a local family, because they thought their children were going to the wrong school. If this loss of trust and competence were not enough, this government and/or its contractors have consistently mislaid or lost the sensitive personal data of British citizens, leading to a massive, potential security and/or financial risk to the public.

This governments reputation for trust, competence and integrity is in tatters, Jacqui Smith is right to be wary, but she is wrong to believe that this issue can simply be postponed. The British public have had enough. It is also worth noting that whatever assurances are given by Jacqui Smith, whilst the government may not store the information referred to on their own computers, much of the content referred to is held by internet and mobile phone service providers, although not the content of calls. Therefore, it is inconceivable, that the government or their agencies would not apply for this information, if they knew of it.

At a time of belt-tightening, this government should not be seeking to spend £12bn on yet another database project, particularly when they have such a poor reputation for IT projects, for example, the NHS database is expected to cost between 10 and 15 times the original estimate of £2.7bn. Furthermore, the government cannot possibly justify this level of snooping and prying into the private affairs of the entire population of the UK. It is a massive step to far. If they want to target crime and terrorism, they have my full support, but to treat everyone as if they were a suspect is outrageous. In fact, from my perspective, the biggest risk to the security, well-being and civil liberties of the British public is the government itself and each and every one of the MP’s that allowed similar legislation to go through on a nod and a wink.

Now that Jacqui Smith has opened the debate, I think it is an ideal opportunity for the public to be told precisely what information is held on each and everyone of us, why it is held and what is being done with it? Then, where there are clear excesses of government power, legislation should be brought forward to repeal the Acts that gave this government such enormous power. It is time to RESIST this governments attempts to use information technology and an abuse of power to control the people of this country.


3 Responses to “Will government postpone Big Brother Britain Database?”

  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this monstrous attempt to control the people of New Britain through fear.

    This is a massive and cripplingly expensive con and is nothing to do with preventing terrorism or tackling crime.

    It will actually make us all less safe, as data is lost and stolen and falls into the hands of criminals, paedophiles and terrorists or simply gets garbled and corrupted by the system and puts everyone under suspicion through simple incompetence.

    This is state terrorism against the people.

    It has to be stopped. We do not just stand to lose our freedom, but our safety as well.

  2. Agreed Atomby. Worst still, by placing so much information into a single place, it will become a budding hackers first port of call. If the Pentagon can be hacked, what hope for a government that can’t even encrypt data on a memory stick?

  3. […] put this thing into perspective, it is okay for government agencies to spy on our email, internet browsing habits, text messages and telephone calls. It is okay for the government or their agencies to record information on our children’s […]

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