Monday, September 05, 2005

Europe Plans to Implement Orwell's Dystopia

A quote from my perl-guru friend Mark Jason-Dominus at a computer security lecture: "Security is the opposite of Freedom." Founding Father Ben Franklin was quoted several hundred years ago: "Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

But it sounds like the EU has legislation pending that would require all phone companies, all cel phone companies, all ISPs to maintain all transactions for three years, and make those transactions available to any competent entity.

Surveillance to the extreme, ala George Orwell's 1984. All in the name of safety. Problem is, there's nothing particularly useful about all this data except after the fact, in which case you're no safer than before. Naturally, they claim they don't intend to keep the content of those messages, but it doesn't take content to infer something private that is none of their business, for example whom someone is calling (why?) and where someone is (tracked by the cel phone he/she's carrying). Meta-content ought to be private unless there is probable cause.

The United States is likely to adopt similar legislation and if the EU succeeds, you can bet they'll do it. You can attempt to nip this in the bud by clicking this link and signing the petition:

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posted by Brian at 8:10 AM

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