Aren’t They Right?

May 20th, 2008

The Telegraph seems to have a feast of articles today:

Home Office plans to create ‘Big brother’ database for phones calls, emails and web use

This appears to be either a whistleblower or a ‘feeler’ leak about yet another attempt by the Home Office to ‘store the details of every phone call made, every email sent and every web page visited by British citizens in the previous year’ – even as other countries tighten the protection of their citizens online activity.

Once again it is allegedly in the cause of fighting terrorism, so nothing to be worried about when every single piece of online activity you have made has been kept, that’s not just which website you have been to, but every unencrypted email will be available – searchable – somewhere out of your control. even if you send each of your emails encrypted you will still likely receive many unencrypted, e-receipts being the most bothersome culprit.

Out of your control? Once on a database, you can almost guarantee the data no matter how sensitive will be copied and carried across the country only to be lost who-knows-where, thusly:

NHS disc containing sensitive data lost

A computer disc containing the medical records of more than 38,000 NHS patients went missing when it was sent to a software company to be backed up – in case the records got lost.

The information, which dates back 10 years, was mislaid somewhere between London and Sandown Health Centre on the Isle of Wight.

It was given to courier company City Link in March, but the health centre only spotted it was missing in May.

A spokesman for the South Central Strategic Health Authority said the courier company – which is supposed to track every item at every stage – demonstrated a “clear failure” by losing all record of the disc once it passed into their hands.

Perhaps time to trust a ‘non-evil’ private company?

I would say not, the only people who should ‘host’ your healthcare record should be yourself or your personal doctor and it should not be networked in any way.

Finally the Conservative Party seems to be turning towards the right direction on CCTV but only partially:

Tories pledge to curb use of CCTV cameras

Unfortunately whilst looking to restrict the amount of CCTV they still echo the opinion of the Met that the solution is higher resolution CCTV rather better forms of policing i.e. more active police actually on the streets, replacing the ‘need’ for CCTV surveillance.

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