Saturday, 19 July 2014

Writing - Surveillance society meets Big Brother

You know those moments when you have a feeling that something is wrong and when you bring the problem up in conversation people look at you as if you're a bit weird. Since the demonisation of Edward Snowden by the USA and UK government and his asylum in Russia I have increasingly felt that ordinary people are missing the point. So it was with a degree of smugness that I read the article reproduced below from the UN Human Rights watchdog.

Too many governments are "rubber-stamping" mass surveillance programmes, the UN human rights watchdog warns.
In a report, the UN body said more needed to be done to ensure that surveillance was balanced against its harm to personal privacy.
It added that mass retention of data to aid surveillance was "neither necessary nor proportionate".
The report comes as the UK passes an emergency law to make ISPs and mobile companies store user data.
The document was written by the office of Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who said it revealed a "disturbing" lack of transparency about the reasons governments approve or start large-scale monitoring of what people do online.
Mass surveillance, said Ms Pillay, was becoming a "dangerous habit rather than an exceptional measure" for governments.

Assisted dying

This topic worries me greatly. Living increasingly in an Orwellian 'big brother' society controlled by a filthy rich minority we shouldn't be giving them tools to bring about control over life and death. I was gratified to hear Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson put forward this point in somewhat less emotive language but even so the House of Lords has allowed this bill to go forward to the next stage.
I may seem to be being alarmist but consider the current state of the NHS, the elitist nature of the government and the increase in the older end of population. The government need to save money so how long will it be before assisted dying is pushed forward as an alternative option to expensive palliative care?

I am sure there are several stories in both of these articles and it wouldn't take too much of a stretch to see 'Steele' investigating and righting  some wrongs in his own inimitable way.

God Bless