Britain now ranked alongside some of the worst countries in the world for abuse of privacy rights
By Graham Vanbergen – Technology is a great thing – what would we do without our mobile phones, tablets and desktops. But has technology gone a bit too far, in Britain it seems so.
Here is some stuff that makes you want to read George Orwell’s “1984” to find out just how it all ended.
Thanks to a (little) known function of their search software, Google could have stored years worth of your conversations. The good thing is at least you can have a look and listen. It’ll make you wince of course but now at least you know it’s there. Is it uncomfortable knowing that organisations such as Google know more about you than you do, because they don’t forget?
Take a deep breath and plunge into the world of you. It will show you everywhere and everything that Google has a record of you being on the internet.
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Click here and you’ll be to see a long list of recordings. Google also has a specific audio page you might like to have a look at. Of course it is well known that there is a record of where you’ve been on the internet.
You should really disable these features. If you haven’t you will see a list of audio recordings typically made by voice commands.
Google makes the claim that all this history collected about you is designed to make your web experience better. But do be aware that its boss executive chairman Eric Schmidt decided to accept an offer of leading the Pentagon advisory board with a view to “bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the US military.” The Pentagon and CIA are inextricably woven into the fabric of surveillance, covert operations and other seriously nasty stuff.
Next up we have the European Commission that is now proposing the idea of forcing everyone to use national ID cards to log in to online services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and possibly even other App based services like Uber.
Leaked documents from within the European Commission revealed a call for the Europe-wide use of national ID cards across the bloc and one way to force it is your access to on-line services we all use.
Breitbart London has previously reported on how the European Union plans to roll out a continent-wide ID card, with a view to using the data to impose Europe-wide taxes, and an EU-wide minimum wage, further bypassing elected national parliaments. Perhaps this might make you reconsider the forthcoming EU referendum.
America is already trialling such ID systems.
Truthfully though, Britain is by far the worst nation in the West for its surveillance over citizens. Back in 2007, The Guardian reported that “The UK is billed as “an endemic surveillance society” alongside Russia, the US, Singapore and China in the survey of 47 countries by Privacy International.”
Among other reasons Britain managed to reach worst for security in the 28 nation bloc of the European Union was quite simply due to lack of government accountability combined with the fact that government agencies lost literally tens of millions of peoples very sensitive data. At the time ID cards were also being proposed and it failed due to the very high profile losses of data.
A Transparency International report concluded that the 2007 rankings “show an increasing trend among governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion.”
Two years later Britain’s failure to protect its citizens from secret surveillance on the internet was investigated by the European Commission. In those days, there were worries that Britain was sliding into a “Big Brother” state, which of course it has since achieved.
The European Commission has been very critical of the Government’s implementation of the European electronic privacy and personal data protection rules.
Since the terrible events in France over the last 18 months British officials have begun arguing in favour of stronger powers for the security services to intercept personal data. In that sense terrorism is winning the war of words as state surveillance is now endemic throughout British life, the “Snoopers Charter” is evidence of that.
Speaking to the Guardian weeks after his appointment as the UN special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci described British surveillance oversight as being “a joke”, and said the situation is worse than anything George Orwell could have foreseen.
Worse still and even more damning is that Cannataci went one step further as he stated that it is not America but Britain singled out as having the “weakest oversight in the western world”.
The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the UK. It describes the scale of spying revealed as “stunning”. Its report concluded that the British authorities were breaching Article 8 of Human Rights legislation.
The assembly is made up of delegates from 47 member states, including European Union and former Soviet countries, no wonder then that Britain now ranks alongside some of the worst countries in the world for abuse of privacy rights.
And whilst Britain has been dragged in front of the courts in Strasbourg, pursued by privacy rights activists and organisations such as Liberty, Privacy International and the American Civil Liberties Union the UK’s investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) dismissed their complaints out of hand and continued with what many consider to be totally out of control surveillance over its innocent citizens.