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unclassified - 16 04 2001 - 18:14 - katatonik

food for worry

“The Englishman’s home is no longer his castle, it is his virtual interrogation cell.” From an article about surveillance and invasion of privacy in the Sunday Times – fear from crime, the author argues, makes British people easily forsake their privacy rights, and legislators count on that. Last year’s “Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act” (RIP – may the acronym be a self-fulfilling prophecy!) indeed sounds frightening – it has already been pointed out that it surpasses in rigour even the People’s Republic of China (usually the Bad Guy in such articles, right next to Singapore). The act not only provides that all mobile-phone and internet communication is in principle interceptible by police and security services, but also that people can be imprisoned for two years if they do not disclose a computer password – even when they are not in fact suspected of any crime.
Reassuring, no.1: that keywords like “IMSI catcher” and acronyms like NSA finally start to appear in regular newsmedia.
Reassuring, no.2: that the Austrian government is way behind. These guys are still concerned with how much of a conversation a police agent, equipped with microphone or camera, is allowed to record. Get this: microphones. Hidden in a policeman’s sock. Laughable.

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