Originally posted by toms
Its that old thing. Everytime there is an increase in snooping laws everyone says "well, if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear".
But that relies on an efficient, uncorruptable, unbiased government that happens to agree with you. Otherwise there is a possibility you are in trouble.
The "war on terror" has already casue the UK to introduce loads of snooping laws, lock people up without trial and decide to introduce identity cards. The US is already forcing airlines to break EU privacy laws by handing over personal information on all flights to the US. The west is getting more and more orwellian and we are told it is for our own good. Score 1 for the terrorists.
I'd be very surprised if some of the descussions here haven't been flagged up by US snooping equipment at some point.
Did you know that the US snoops on the UK and the UK snoops on the US and then they swap data??? That way each government can deny monitoring the communications of it's citizens.
Yeah, that kind of rhetoric "if you have nothing to hide..." falls flat because (and we've all seen this happen in the public square). You may not have done anything ILLEGAL, but you may have done something EMBARRASSING that can be used to blackmail you.
Example: Clinton's sexual escapades in the Whitehouse or while governor.
Need I say more?
And you don't need to be a public figure. The point is, somebody could try to ruin your life with information like that or otherwise coerce you, therebay taking away your rights by default. That's the danger of these sorts of precedants. Will they catch more terrorists? Who knows.
But the rationale is that the government should be able to arrest anyone for any reason (or so we assume, the PA isn't that easy to read, few people have read all the details), in the hopes that they might catch a terrorist or two. Or a potential terrorist (wait... so that means arresting people who haven't done anything wrong YET?).
It all sounds pretty screwy to me.
It's not as bad as China, where if you say "Free Tibet" or "we should let Taiwan have independance" you can be investigated and thrown in jail (and if you post that on the internet, overseas ISP's are supposed to turn over all private records to China's government). But let's not head down that same path...