Friday, May 19, 2006

More technicalities

A couple of stories attracting my eye today...

Firstly, (via Slashdot), ZDNet reports that the UK government want people's encryption keys under the latest installment of the RIP Act (that is, Part III). That encryption is effectively free and easy seems to continually get conveniently "forgotten about" in the ongoing quest for more snooping powers, but it's clear that it lurks in the background, ready to roll out once the frog's gotten used to its new temperature.

Spyblog has a call to write to Liam Byrne over the matter, and I suggest a written or printed letter may be more effective than "deletable" e-mail...

Meanwhile, the Guardian leads with a look at integrating local police data into "frontline council staff" - the obvious issues over data confidentiality are raised, but that doesn't seem to stop most Labour plans these days.

None of these measures actually address any roots of the problem. These are still all technical "fixes" that do nothing but attempt to cover up the genuinely shafted state we're in. There's no political pressure to address these roots, so long as it means taking on some responsibility (at all levels, from government to business to the general public).

Maybe it's time that the deep and - yes, gosh - philosophical debates underlying these paltry solutions was piggy-backed onto the "simple" statist vs anti-statist arguments currently being fought (and lost) by those trying to hold the government to account. Maybe we need to get wisdom back onto the agenda.

Addendum: Same goes for all those calls for knife-screening in schools. Why do people put all their faith in machinery when they even acknowledge that "we have a weapons culture in this country" (emphasis added)?

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