If You Have Nothing To Hide... Part 2

Britain is slowly sinking into a fascist, police state. In a few months the government will be forcing ISPs to allow law enforcement access to everything we do online in real time.

A new law - which may be announced in the Queen's Speech in May - would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant.
But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long. They would also be able to see which websites someone had visited.

Oh, well, that's okay, people are saying. Remember, if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear. So what about Paul Chambers who was arrested and convicted for simply tweeting a joke? Or the couple taken into custody on arrival in America after tweeting "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America"?


So okay, they tweeted something that some morons somewhere thought was a real threat (makes you wonder if they have any real terrorists to deal with if they're bothering with this stuff), but the vast majority of us aren't dumb enough to do that, right?

That doesn't matter. It's not that they did anything wrong, it's that someone in power decided they had done something wrong. Punishing these people and making examples of them for doing nothing wrong are acts of terrorism in the truest and original sense of the word;

If the basis of a popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis in a time of revolution is virtue and terror -- virtue, without which terror would be barbaric; and terror, without which virtue would be impotent. [Robespierre, speech in French National Convention, 1794]

These are the acts of governments trying to bring about fear in the people they govern. Not fear of a nebulous, outside malignant force (as they have tried to do with Muslims and people from Middle Eastern countries) but of the government. These acts say to the entire populace; "obey us absolutely or we will hurt you. Fear us completely."

By giving themselves access to everything we do online, a world that governments to not understand and have little control over, they are saying "we are watching you, don't do anything we might not like."

So okay, you have nothing to hide, right? You're not making jokes in bad taste and you're not planning to blow up any airports or sports facilities. You're safe from the government (a phrase that should not be A Good Thing to be able to say). You have nothing to hide, so you have nothing to fear.

Yeah... let me just quote from my previous post on this;

[T]ell that to the victims of persecution throughout time. Early Christians, Protestants, Catholics, anyone that the Witchfinder General didn't like, Jews, Muslims, women, and that's just the tip of the religious stuff in Europe, never mind ethnic cleansing, homophobia and misogyny, class/caste systems...

I'm not talking crimes committed by a hateful minority here like the KKK or EDL. No, all crimes and abuses listed above (for starters) have been carried out by governments against the people they govern (or would like to govern but find it easier to demonise, repress, torture and murder).
That Paul Chambers could be put away and fined for a simple joke that had no intent behind it is clear indication that the laws are already in place for the government to arrest anyone for anything. If you do something the government doesn't like, if you say something they think might lead to opposition, if you even search for a phrase they think might lead to trouble (maybe Freedom of Speech or Gunpowder Plot) they can arrest you.

And they will, even if it's just to set an example to a questioning, angry populace.
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