Better be careful what I say here, someone is snooping on my every move if we are to believe Edward Snowden’s revelations.
I gave up on ‘but we live in a democracy’ a long time ago. In your car you are hounded by cameras which mug you for having half a wheel in a yellow box; the House of Lords is packed with unelected friends of elected politicians; the media agenda and content is determined by PR agencies run by friends of elected and unelected politicians; mega-size conglomerates fix prices and mug us under the eyes of elected and unelected politicians; newspapers, websites, online stores collect a wealth of intelligence about us; local authorities check the faeces you throw away in your bins. And if you haven’t been accosted online or in the middle of a hefty bite into your evening meal by a person sitting at a desk on Mars informing you that there is a claim to be made against your parents who didn’t ask your permission ahead of conceiving you, then you should definitely buy a lottery ticket asap.
The only thing that surprised me about Mr Snowden’s alleged revelations was the scale of it; I assumed it would be much greater. We are completely controlled, always have been and always will be, whether it be by right, left or centre. The Internet has simply made it a lot easier for Big Brother to snoop. In the days of the Stasi, it was the man standing behind you at the bus stop, now it’s an 11-year-old’s latest app that the government have bought into that has blurred evidence of you picking your nose at traffic lights.
Freedom is relative and we have a lot more of it in the UK than other places. But I certainly do not buy into the nonsense spouted by Foreign Secretary William Hague: “You have nothing to worry about if you do nothing wrong.” Clearly, as Mr Snowden has pointed out, you have a lot to worry about. The question in point is, how do we live with that fact.
My message is to chill out folks, we have the Ashes coming up and the football season is back in August but don’t watch them ‘illegally’ online or you may find someone knocking on your door. And it won’t be a Jehova’s Witness.