Wednesday, 25 March 2009

This is very hastily put together, so I apologise now for any errors, omissions or panic style writing. I write in haste.

I have heard today that The Home Office is considering plans to force “social networking sites” such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo to hold information about their users in an effort to foil the criminals/terrorists who communicate through them.
All the information would be stored on a central database (and yes, possibly a few cds which get mislaid on trains, buses etc) as part of the proposed Intercept Modernisation Programme. These plans are to keep information about all telephone calls, emails, and internet visits made by everyone in Britain through a multi-billion pound system. Every picture we look at, every piece of music we listen to and every person we have emailed will be “on file”. The Data Retention Directive, a European Union statutory order already proposes that internet service providers in member states store communications for one year.

Now I do not use either Bebo or MySpace, but I have to admit that I do have the occasional dabble on Facebook – much to my offspring’s disgust as I am an oldie and these places are for the young and cool generation. (My stepson even refuses to let me know his Facebook name, in case his mates find out I am registered there – the shame of it)

So, I am not really concerned about my “trafficking” on these sites. I fear however, that before long, the interceptors will be onto me and have me closed down and interrogated about my use of the internet and the voicing of my opinions to anyone who cares to read. Looking at my recent “history” I see that not only have I Googled Daily Mail Online, but also Sacha Baron Cohen, BBC i player, Sunderland flag image, human lyrics and bucket on a rope pic, and that’s only since yesterday. (I feel already I must justify the “bucket” thing – it was something to do with the nursery rhyme “ding dong bell”, alright ? )
What sort of a person looks at these things, is …. well, anyone’s guess. I dread to think what the interceptors would make of it all.

And then there’s the blog.
“Secrets or not?” alongside “Voting Hamas”, “Being British” and “Godwin’s Law”. “Publishing and dirty Laundry”, “Walk on By” and “Winehouse, Dylan and Raleigh” to name a few more titles. Crikey ! This blogger must be up to something. In fact – isn’t she the same person that was caught on the Co-op CCTV last week buying half a dozen eggs and a jar of mixed fruit jam?
We rest our case, Your Honour.

Should I hastily erase all history every time I search for something ?
Why bother, it’s all recorded anyway.
Is there any criminal connotations in watching Matt Monroe sing “The impossible dream” on YouTube ?
Probably, if anyone wants there to be.
Am I becoming paranoid?
Shall I stop writing, talking, thinking now before I am forced to by “them” ?

I will continue with my ramblings until my battery runs out – and I don’t just mean the one on the computer.

Mindfulness - the New Capitalist Spirituality ?

Since coming across this article in   The Guardian's "Long Read"  my mind has  been full of the issues it raises- so to spe...