If you live in the UK, you could soon find that every letter or email you send or every phone call you make or receive, is intercepted and the details kept for at least 12 months.
Do you need to be a criminal under surveillance? No! A potential terrorist or someone with terrorist links? No! A paedophile? No! All you have to be is an everyday citizen who writes letters, sends emails or uses a telephone to communicate with other people. I guess that covers about 99% of the UK's adult population.
The government - actively egged on by the spooks and senior police officers - are seriously contemplating making all internet providers and phone companies responsible for keeping detailed records of all traffic. Even the Royal Mail will have to keep details of the addresses on every envelope. Postcards to Aunty Ethel or little Tarquin will, presumably, even have the message/greeting recorded - just in case it's in code and dealing with some gems heist. (Those of you who battled with The Ultimate Quest should be well-placed to baffle the authorities with your secret messages!)
If you have already read Alpha to Omega you will know that such 'intercepts' are routine practice under certain circumstances, but this is really going to the nth degree. But are we surprised? I'm not.
Fear and uncertainty grips the heart of every government, elite or enforcement agency. Fear that something may be going on that they do not know about. And so it has been for a very long time. It grips democracies just as much as dictatorships. The only difference is that the former pay lip service to controls and safeguards, while the letter couldn't give a ****. Which is the more honest?
But I think it also has to be seen in the current context. We are already in times of great uncertainty and, in my view, this will get worse before it gets better. I've 'predicted' 2013 in Alpha to Omega; but the actual year is irrelevant. Let's just say that it is going to happen. However 'it' manifests itself, it will be life-changing and the spooks and governments are likely to go into a spiral of despair. As they already know much more than we do, is it a surprise they are anxious?
But here's a small consolation - it is already quite easy to communicate without falling foul of the planned interception. How will 'they'cope with that, poor souls?