The government wants to look at your emails, so send them some
For those of you who don’t know (and it’s not hard to understand why you wouldn’t, given the lack of media interest), the government is currently trying to pass some extremely troubling legislation that will give certain parts of the state even more access to your personal communications than they already possess, without even the fig-leaf of judicial accountability provided by the need for a court order.
According to the proposals, telecoms providers such as mobile networks, fixed line phone providers and ISPs will be legally obliged to keep a database of metadata on your emissions: who you called, texted and emailed, when you did so and with what frequency. Government officials, including spy headquarters GCHQ, will be able to demand that those companies hand over data whenever they like, without having to disclose for what purpose they want it.
The Labour government introduced a suspiciously similar idea in 2009, with the same rallying cry of “it’s all about stopping the naughty terrorists, you see”. The plans were only withdrawn after a massive public outcry; it seems however that the coalition has chosen to revive the policy.
Short of a public campaign to ditch this privacy-invading, dangerous nonsense, we can all get involved in a few stunts to raise consciousness of the impact such a bill might have.
One of the best is National “cc all your e-mails to Theresa May” Day, which is pretty self-explanatory. According to the Facebook page: “The government wants to store all our e-mails in a huge database? OK, we’ll save them the trouble by cc-ing the Home Secretary on every e-mail we send for a whole day.”
Burying a Tory politician under the minutiae of daily life for thousands of ordinary people? Sounds pretty interesting to me.
Oh, and its firstname.lastname@example.org, just in case you were wondering.