This message tweeted by Edward Snowden regarding new law in the UK which government can reach our privacy message and online activity in order to prevent any suspicion or to investigate any happening related to terrorism and on. Some people have a strong pessimistic view as he posted in Twitter below,
but where is UK surveillance from ? How media relates to the surveillance? And what is actually the danger of our privacy and society?
In the UK, during Second World War and the post-war period, mass surveillance began to be more obvious activity by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK. The danger for UK government at the time was intelligence by spies. Since then, Thankfully, United Kingdom is one of the most monitored nation by CCTV, which means “The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated there are up to 5.9 million CCTV in the country”. Technology enables to monitor more efficiency, for intense, CCTV is already easy to trace a car number automatically to give drivers any penalty fee for over speed, and in the near future, CCTV could trace our appearance as technology has significantly improved to recognize human face more accuracy. Surveillance seems to be not too related to our individual activity as long as we don’t commit any crime, but what point are related to our society and individual?
In the contrast to CCTV in the UK, digital surveillance is seriously connected to our privacy activity and privacy matter with digital media regardless our crime history. As we live in the digital age which encourages us to engage with digital communication as much as possible, we put a lot of private information, not only public information but also very sensitive information. Importantly all of our communication and what we left in the digital world will remain a server without any distortion and deterioration which is easily traced afterward. Many people tend to assume that encrypted website and message are very secure so that they can use then for certain purpose. However, the culture is about to end up from the UK because of the law passed in the parliament just last month. As we individually participate in digital media, government easily identify individual for any suspicion or involvement.
What is the most significant feature is that freedom speech has been danger in the digital world. For example, if someone blames government policy with extreme comment or footage, soon or later police could investigate who they are and stop any predicted action regardless it will happen or not. The prediction is a pessimistic view but the law allows the government to take the action. We now have been difficult to avoid digital surveillance in the UK, but importantly we should be aware the situation and our online activity are easily accessed by the authority now.
Barrett, D. (2016). One surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain, says CCTV survey. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance-camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016].
MacAskill, E. (2016). ‘Extreme surveillance’ becomes UK law with barely a whimper. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/19/extreme-surveillance-becomes-uk-law-with-barely-a-whimper [Accessed 10 Dec. 2016].