Here’s something for the UK to be proud of – it leads the Western world as the most repressive regime when it comes to electronic surveillance and snooping. The modern, electronic police state differs from the vision we might have of the Stasi breaking into sleepy homes in the middle of some dark night and spiriting people away for questioning in equally dark cars. The modern, electronic police state is characterised by:
“State use of electronic technologies to record, organize, search and distribute forensic evidence against is citizens“.
“Forensic” meaning information about you is gathered silently, sometimes unobtrusively with the potential to be used against you. A report has been released by an internet security consultancy, which audited 17 factors (such as financial tracking, ISP and telephone data retention) across 52 countries. Not surprisingly, China and North Korea were top dogs when it comes to being the most complete electronic police states in the world. But in the West, the UK is top dog (the United States is #6 and Australia is #18).
Here are the nations depicted in the map from the report:
- nations in Red are the most advanced electronic police states
- nations in Orange are well on their way to being strong electronic police states
- nations in Yellow are lagging behind the top dogs but are developing surveillance capabilities
- nations in Green still have some semblance of sanity and have minimal intrusive surveillance technology
Click here for larger version. And here’s something the report urges us to consider:
“….if some leader behaves badly, will you really stand up to oppose him or her? Would you still do it if he had all the emails you sent when you were depressed? Or if she has records of every porn site you’ve ever surfed? Or if he knows every phone call you’ve ever made? Or if she knows everyone you’ve ever sent money to? Such a person would have all of this and more – in the form of court-ready evidence – sitting in a database, waiting to be organized at the touch of a button.”