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Life Line


Perhaps a bit of a cliche title, but Mr Orwell did have a point :) The same thing seem to be happening here now in Europe after the horrible attacks in London last week, as were happening in the US after the 11-9 attacks: it is used as an excuse to take away civil liberties.

The European Commission, and also the national parliaments, have been discussing for some time the idea of forcing ISPs and telecom companies to store traffic data - records that contain the websites your visited, the email addresses you send mail to and whom you called at which time from which cell tower - and this all in the name of fighting criminality. Although that's a noble cause, they forget a couple of things (examples from the Netherlands):

The governments are not paying for the huge investments that ISPs need to make to store this traffic data for three! years. The costs for this are millions of euros per ISP which they will never see back, and will likely cause them to charge more to their customers.

All research that was done on this subject in the Netherlands show that collecting this data does not buy the autorities anything.

In the news today I read that "UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke" now wants to accelerate this hole process because of fighting terrorism. But with these regulations, the European People will also get stripped of important civil liberties, for something that is proven to be useles. Luckily the European Parliament's civil liberties committee doesn't agree with these new regulations either. One MEP said that "...introducing measures which sounded tough did not mean they would be effective. Fears were also raised about intrusion into privacy."

Besides this, it seems that some countries are giving up on the Schengen treaty, that allows freedom of travel inside the treaty's area.


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Well our freedom is the most important thing we have. To protect it you have to be willing to give up some freedom.

I hope I'm not the only one seeing Lukas' sarcasm. On the other hand, it seems that the OCSE is holding a meeting on this same subject (


It seems to me that this records will not save us from terrorism. Unless the police runs some random searches, they will never know what to look for unless an attack is made! It is likely that the situation will evolve to search the contents of conversation to search for keywords (more jobs at google?). That will be a GREAT loss of liberty, and I think you will agree...

1300 cameras are now being installed in Montreal subways ostensibly to deter terrorists. Seems our "protectors" will not be happy until there is a camera watching us all 24x7 (but who is going to be watching??).

Our "Justice Minister" is telling us that we are "not psychologically prepared" (1984'ish sounding) for a possible terrorist attack. This is the same person who is ultimately responsible for putting in all these cameras. I suspect the next step is for our "protectors" to start generating a bunch of media buzz about terrorism so that we will be more acquiesent to the new limitations on civil liberties that they will want to impose so that they can appear to be doing their jobs.

Read 1984 in high school. Probably should be required reading in high school if we want to keep some civil liberties and detect the slippery way in which they are often eroded.

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