Private Citizen = Criminal?

Now anyone who knows me, or at least reads the rubbish I spout on here, will know I’m not the biggest fan of the animal rights movement bit the recent arrests of 20 animal rightists in Austria has gotten my goat and looks to be quite worrying.

The activists are all charged with being members of a criminal organisation. Some of the evidence for this is that some of the 20 arrested use PGP to encrypt their data to prevent it being intercepted. Basically using PGP is like locking your front door when you go out or simply taking a precaution to make sure noone reads your mail who don’t want reading your mail. So basically these folks are accused of criminality for wanting to keep their private correspondence private.

Of course in this country it is already illegal to refuse to give the old bill any passwords they ask for and you can be given a prison sentence for refusing. Hell, you can be given a prison sentence for forgetting your password if they really want in.

That this happened in Austria should not prove any less worrying for those of us in this country(UK) who want to keep our private data private. We already hear the old adage ‘you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve nothing to hide’ rolled out about the forthcoming Orwellian disaster the ID card. Though given this governments history with private data it’s more likely to turn into a Kafkaesque nightmare than an Orwellian one.

How long will it be I wonder til we hear that said about all of our e-mail and phone calls being intercepted or American intelligence agencies being given access to our personal data? The same was said when CCTV cameras were rolled out around the country. We were told that CCTV was going to help lower street crime, which was dropping anyway, and has it? Even the chief of the Met says that it has prevented less crime than it has helped solve i.e. not a lot. The one thing that it has achieved is reinforcing it in the minds of every single person living on this island – you are being watched.

But then again if you’ve nothing to hide.


Posted on July 8, 2008, in Bastards, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The suggestion that using PGP is some indictment of guilt is lunacy, though I don’t suppose we’re surprised eh? The whole “conspiracy to interfere with contractual relationships” is fucking scary too – Sean Kirtley (another animal rights nut :P) got 4 and a half years for it at the start of the month. :/

    Like the ‘local links…’ bit on the side by the way. I once traumatized a friend with some League of Gentlemen clips and take great delight in scaring the shit out of her on a fairly regular basis by creeping up behind her and whispering “Hello Dave”. 😀

    Did a double take when I saw this:

  2. Bloody hell I am right wing but find myself agreeing with you 100%. I agree that private life should be just that private.

    pps I dont hate anyone diue to skin colour, I just want to keep Britain like it used to be

  3. Hi there Gary boy. So you want Britain to be like it used to be? You mean a country of migrants and immigrants? Britain has always been a country that is typified by its wide variety of different cultures all intermingling to create what we have today. There is no ‘true’ British culture, everything we are is the sum of our history and in the case of Britain that is migration and immigration.
    Did you know that back in the 1800’s the Scottish footy team was captained by a black immigrant who lived in Govan?
    You say that you are not racist, why then do you belong to the racist BNP? Can people of colour join the BNP? No? That’s racism for you there.
    The party is also rabidly homophobic, there have been queers around as long as there have been people let alone Britons, as can be seen by the comments of that vile toad Griffin after the London nail bombings by a BNP fanboy.
    So what is this fabled Britain that you would like to see a return to? The glory days of empire perhaps that led to untold suffering for countless millions across the world and at home? Or perhaps that Britain captured so nostalgically in the Hovis advert of days gone by, which has never existed in reality.
    Please enlighten me.

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