Saturday, 11 April 2009

The latest turn of the ratchet in Lab-Rat Britain

This is the text of my letter in the Asian Voice Newspaper 9th April 2009

Compulsory travel plans pose far bigger risk than Google StreetView

While I understand people's concerns at their homes being viewed by potential burglars and criminals via Google StreetView, there is a greater and far more insidious threat on the horizon.

In its zeal to control our lives, and as usual, in complete disregard for any consequences, the government is legislating for a national database, to force us on threat of draconian fines, to file holiday, business, and all "travel plans" comprising, amongst other things, length of absence, destinations, e-mail addresses and credit card details, prior to leaving the UK. What next, internal passports, checkpoints and exit-visas?

With the government's abysmal record on data security, surely the potential for undisturbed burglary, warrantless searches, credit-card fraud and other nefarious activities is limitless.

For the Hindu Community, it is bad enough that people have to take extra precautions over Navratri and Diwali. For the Muslim Community, the bigger threat is from the State. Once information of an owner's absence is readily and nationally available, its routine misuse by both official and criminal elements is inevitable.

With Google you can get data removed, not so with government. When considered in this context, Google StreetView is small beer.

Cllr Jeremy Zeid
(Conservative - London Borough of Harrow)

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