The Guardian yesterday had a round-up of media quotes on whether we are becoming a surveillance society, in which Roger Scruton cuts through the usual (and apparently currently popular) argument of "the idea's great, but the government must do it properly", and gets to the nub of the matter:
"In almost every area, the recent expansion of the law has involved an attempt to put legal norms in place of social norms. The consequence is a withering away of community, an undermining of family sentiment and a demoralisation of society"
(Of course, expansion of law is always going to be about legal norms, by its definition, surely?)
Unfortunately, I think the original piece is subscriber-only. More annoyingly, the link to Scruton's old article "We must have ID cards if we value freedom" doesn't work...