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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Travel database

So the Government wants to record all our international travel and record the details for 10 years.
The government says the database is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.

But opposition MPs and privacy campaigners fear it is a significant step towards a surveillance society.

The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details of travellers.

A worthy cause, but up there with "when did you stop beating your wife", as a justification

Already e-Borders has screened over 75 million passengers against immigration, customs and police watch-lists, leading to over 2,700 arrests for crimes such as murder, rape and assault.

Which, if my arithmetic is right, implies a failure rate of 99.9964%.

But never mind that you might be spending two weeks in Spain with your dearly beloved, but the state now has your credit card details, food preferences, and holiday booking.

All of this is more than China, Russia and Cuba demand, and vindicates Chris Hulme...

We are sleepwalking into a surveillance state and should remember that George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a blueprint.

I am now moving to encrypting my emails as a matter of course, and encouage my correspondents to do the same with gnuPG, an excellent piece of freeware.


Anonymous said...


Your maths is correct but the principles aren't. We can't describe it as a 99.9964% failure because on 2,700 miscreants were arrested. The use of the word failure implies that all 75Million are guilty (they probably are guilty of breaking some law but haven't been convicted).

Surely it would be easier if the government just took away the passport of anyone who has a serious criminal record (playing fotbal in Stornoway on a Sunday for example)? This would increase tourism at home and make it less unpleasant for those of us who go away. Mind anyone who chooses to go to Ibiza should have their passport confiscated anyway. {;-)

Ian said...

Oh I'd feel really secure knowing the government were keeping my credit card number safe. Oh, and I wonder what the conviction rate for those 2700 arrests was?

Anonymous said...

Watch V for Vendetta - the London Government is taking us to that kind of state with these sorts of initiatives...

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:03

I have done, several times. The V iliteration is brilliant (as natalie ?portman). It is a brilliant film. Of course in real life the troops would follow orders and have some target practice.