Don’t meddle with my social media!

Written by on January 16, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

The recent terrorist activities in France have generated massive public response worldwide with public rallies showing calm and rational support for the victims in defiance of those that perpetrated the acts and those planning others.

This is in deep contrast to the response from UK Prime Minister, David Cameron who yesterday promised a “comprehensive piece of legislation” which will close the “safe spaces” used by suspected terrorists to communicate online with each other.

His knee-jerk reaction was not dissimilar to that of US President, George W Bush immediately after 9/11 with the hasty introduction of the Patriot Act that gave sweeping powers to security agencies and stripped citizens of many civil liberties that had been fought for previously. Cameron said he would “increase the authorities’ power to access both the details of communications and their content,” action squarely aimed at encrypted messaging services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Once again, the whole population is held to ransom because of the actions of a few. If it is truly Al Qaeda’s objective to change all our lives in some way for the worse then surely they have already achieved their goal. Air travel has become agonizingly burdensome for all of us and government intrusion into every part of our lives has brought George Orwell’s 1984 vision to reality, albeit a little later than he foresaw.

Yet despite extra powers of surveillance employed by agencies worldwide, both legal and not so legal, events like Charlie Hedbo continue to occur, even when the perpetrators are previously known to authorities.

Why does Mr Cameron believe things will change by closing down encrypted and secure messaging systems that have sprung up because people are either sick of being monitored or are simply showing their governments the proverbial ‘finger?’

One has to wonder if voters will start asking if their privacy and liberties are worth losing for the sake of national security when their elected governments can’t guarantee their safety any more than they can predict earthquakes, plane crashes, cyclones and tsunamis, all of which have claimed many more lives than terrorism in developed countries.

Some people may see the threat to their social media freedom as another form of terrorism, at a government level. Of course, in democracies like the UK, the voters have the last say and that very same social media that Mr Cameron seeks to muzzle may become the voice of dissention and opposition that could cost him government.

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About the Author

About the Author: Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts a market strategist and is now Editor of DisruptiveViews. In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide. .

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