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'big Brother' Bothers Britain

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Why? Because only the guilty have something to hide?[/b]

Essentially.

Furthermore, I have no idea why it's ok to tap mobile calls but not Skype calls. If you're going to tap mobile calls, taping Skype calls is a completely logical thing to do. And the next logical step would also be other things like eBay

There is a significant portion of the population that believes that socialism is the root cause of Fascism, and is inherently coercive and authoritarian. Read The Road to Serfdom, sometime, by the Nobel prize winning Friederich Hayek.[/b]

An Authoritarian state does not need to be socialist; it does generally happen that socialist countries are authoriarian because socialism essentially doesn't work, so they need some sort of external force. You could quite well have an authoritarian free-market state. Margret Thatcher was socially authoritarian, and she gave more powers to poice etc., although obviously she did not adopt the extreme authoritarian policies seen in North Korea and so forth.

You'd think that chat in gaming sites is going a bit far...[/b]

If they're tracking phone calls, why not gaming sites? I mean, if I was a terrorist, and I knew that they can track phonecalls, you would go onto gaming sites wouldn't you? It's the next logical step

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Essentially.

Furthermore, I have no idea why it's ok to tap mobile calls but not Skype calls. If you're going to tap mobile calls, taping Skype calls is a completely logical thing to do. And the next logical step would also be other things like eBay[/b]

It shouldn't be okay to tap either. People ought to have a reasonable expectation of privacy from their government. Governments are not perfect, and men are easily corrupted. To say that only the guilty have something to hide is to imply that the government is altruistic, which it clearly is not. Maybe I don't want my government knowing that I'm a political activist who happens to disagree with the current national trend. I ought to have the right to talk without having to worry about who's listening and the ramifications of that. Once you start inhibiting a nation's ability to communicate freely, you've effectively destroyed any sort of democratic process.

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See, this is why I was so opposed to the wire-tapping Bush somehow managed to get the Republican party behind. I said at the time, "Yes, this particular instance, when it's only used in for tracing calls to foreign countries, it can seem excusable. But the thing is that it sets a precedent! The same argument could be used for the very worst of Big Brother observation. We will never, ever, ever be totally and completely safe from terrorists, and I'm sure everyone would agree that requiring everyone in a country to have their rooms fitted with 24 hour security cameras for every room to reduce this threat, would be wrong. This is why I oppose wire-tapping. It's the same principle, it sacrifices liberty and privacy, and it will be used as a precedent for more oppressive, more outrageous, more dangerous programs for 'security.'"

I feel mildly vindicated in that argument, and I pose the same line of thinking here.

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