http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mediapolicyproje ... in-the-uk/ Data Seduction and Cyberwar – Civil Liberties Under Threat in the UK
Robin Mansell, Professor of New Media and the Internet, at the LSE, warns that government’s goals for cybersecurity go too far.
“In cyberspace, the war has begun” as it is often said in the US. Tackling perpetrators of serious crime and terrorist activity using the Internet is seen as crucial in a war that is being lost. More money and technology are seen as the ways to win the cyberwar.
In the UK, the Government wants to introduce legislation to make us safe. Technology is changing and the Government wants to fill gaps in present legislation. In a cyberworld, the dream is that the records of every move citizens make online can be analysed to reveal intentions that threaten our safety. The hope is that intelligence gleaned from sifting communications data will lead to preventative action or a robust response when the threat is real. This is a seductive dream. Those who believe this are too ready to put data analysts’ claims first and citizen’s rights second.
If the Government moves to supplement its powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000, it will have to require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to collect communications data, not just on demand and with warranted authorization, but routinely. Such data would include traces of people’s social networking activity using Facebook, Twitter or online games. The result would be ubiquitous monitoring of everyone, the retention of huge amounts of data (even if on a decentralized basis), and the analysis of data on an unprecedented large scale.
Some of these arguments are set out in my book – Imagining the Internet – published by Oxford University Press in July.