There’s been some great news for security in this country recently: the Conservatives have finally given up on their silly agreement to roll back state intrusion. Let’s hope Nick doesn’t succeed in blocking such crucial legislation but, if he does, it seems like the US could already be doing the surveillance for us!
The only problem is that this kind of blanket online monitoring just doesn’t go far enough. With the public in fear of the ever present threat of terrorism, we need to collecting metadata about all forms of communication, from the postal system, to peoples front rooms:
- We shouldn’t expect to just put a letter in the post without any form of tracking. All post should be taken to post offices, along with photo ID, so that sender and recipient can be properly logged.
- Oyster can already keep track of public transport journeys in London and needs to be extended across the country as a matter of urgency.
- Every journey by road also needs to be logged. Submitting a route plan should be required in advance of each journey, with automatic number plate recognition verifying the actual route taken.
- And finally, to cover the last mile of any journey, as well as pedestrians and cyclists, it should be compulsory for every citizen to carry a smart phone and use a UK government 4wrnd app. This will enable location and proximity to other citizens to be tracked in real time.
Terrahawks need to push ahead with these measures and more, before it’s too late.
Admittedly this new surveillance will undoubtedly cost a lot of money, which could impact other methods of protecting citizens. What some people have conveniently overlooked is that, once collected, the new data will be a valuable source of revenue. If mobile phone companies can sell data, there’s no reason for the government not to do the same. From insurance companies and worried parents, to foreign governments, people will be queuing up to access this valuable new big data resource.
Photo © walkingwalking (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)