Friday, 24 July 2009

Sauce for the goose: What we do, they do.

When it comes to privacy, state surveillance and the Internet I have a simple rule of thumb when it comes to judging whether legislation is reasonable, proportional and democratically defensible.

What would I think of these measures if I lived under a dictatorship - or some other less enlightened form of government? There is a risk that circumstances can change at home, and powers brought in in good faith could be misused in the future. More than that though there is a good chance that other countries around the world will use our behaviour as a justification for introducing powers that might not be so benignly employed.

The latest example of this was Iran's decision to introduce something equivalent to the EU's Telecom directive - which will allow them to monitor, amongst other things, where people surf to. The law will allow them to tackle 'cyber crime', but what else might it be used for?

Fundamentally, the rights of free speech and privacy are not served by governments keeping track on what we see, think or do. Technological advances are making it possible to monitor every aspect of our lives - but just because we can doesn't mean we should.

Western society, with high ideals on human rights needs to set a shining example... and remember that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. .

The Pirate Party & Piratpartiet - Putting privacy first.

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