The News: England's Home Secretary has put forth a proposal to have the private sector manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use 24/7. The proposal's proponents said that it included "tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses." (But not to safeguard privacy.)
The Note in the News: Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, said the proposed database would be "an unimaginable hell-house of personal private information," "It would be a complete readout of every citizen's life in the most intimate and demeaning detail. No government of any colour is to be trusted with such a roadmap to our souls." McDonald added:
"The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people."
The Woodchip Gazette wishes its readers the courage to stand for a Free and Autonomous New Year.