Friday, 9 January 2009

Old technology

It had been announced that from March 2009 all internet service providers (ISPs) would be required to keep details of all emails sent or received in the UK.
In the old days when people wrote letters to each other the authorities could always steam them open or make notes of where letters to particular addresses were coming from but it was tedious and labour intensive.
Email used to be sent and stored on multiple servers. Now they are mostly on a limited number of US controlled searchable servers so there is no difficulty in the Yanks searching for what they want. Just to cover those cases where people still use ISPs to send their mail the UK government has told them to keep details for them.
In the old days telephone calls could always be intercepted. You could get round that to some extent in the days when people used public call boxes. To spy on people making calls from call boxes was again labour intensive. Now with mobile phones the job is a lot easier – even pay-as-you-go phones are easily traced.
Life without a mobile phone is sweet. It was really delightful getting your card in the post. Let's go back to the way things were. We can't avoid Big Brother but we can make him work harder.