5 Apr 2012Licence to spy on our web activity would be unjustified and immoral
COLETTE Douglas-Home is right to rail against Westminster's continuing plans to spy on all our web activity ("We would be fools not to fight this snoops' charter", The Herald, April 3).
It is important to be clear just how intrusive the proposal is. The Government seeks to hide the true scope of the data that would be collected by pretending that there is some distinction between "traffic data" and "content" on the web. It is an entirely false proposition. Knowing the address of a website that someone has visited allows the content to be viewed.
People seeking information about rape crisis centres, medical symptoms, pregnancy, paternity or abortion services, divorce lawyers, or anything else that might be sensitive in their personal context, would be faced with the knowledge that myriad state workers would be able to infer very private information. And it is not just the state.
After the revelations of the Leveson inquiry, nobody could credibly suggest that such data would not filter through to tabloid newspapers on an industrial scale.
In this time of austerity, with beloved public services being cut, high-salaried civil servants are being paid to find a way to squander billions of pounds on this unjustifiable, immoral and unwanted scheme. The Home Office is a cancer at the heart of the British state and needs to be cut out entirely.