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filling the void

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Things are not as they Seem

I might have been a bit off the mark the other day when I claimed that the laws the British passed raped our collective civil liberties less that the American counterparts.
I believe I wrote something like:
The US pass laws that are disgusting violations of our civil liberties, the UK does the same, but on a smaller scale.

Well, I stand corrected. It turns out that unless you are willing to surrender pretty much every piece of information available (or not available) about yourself to the government, you will not be allowed to leave the country, except as a boat refuge. Great Britain will, from March 26th, stop issuing passports to anyone who refuses to bend over and take surveillance so far up their ass that the metal casing of the cameras tickle their mouths.

It turns out that my home country isn't much better. A recent bill proposes to let the communications arm of the military (FRA - Försvarets Radioanstalt) wiretap anyone they damn well please with absolutely no judicial oversight. It's not clear who proposed this bill, other than "the government", but there seems, luckily, to be many vocal critics of this bill such as the head of the Bar Association, the head of Säpo (Swedish Secret Police), and others. I doubt it will pass, but the very idea to propose something like this is atrocious as best.
As if this wasn't enough, it was discovered when this bill was proposed that FRA has been doing these sorts of things without oversight for decades anyway. Apparently up until the point when the telephone company became privately owned.

I will admit that I don't know what goes down behind closed doors here in the Netherlands, but I can't possibly imagine that it could be as bad as any of the atrocities I have just described.

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