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Prying Conservatives demand yet more powers to invade our privacy
Alarmingly, Tory ministers are preparing to increase their surveillance powers. A new bill would grant near-total access to our private online and electronic communications.
We are told this is in response to terrorists using communication networks the state cannot detect. Even many politicians don't buy this - past attempts at a 'snoopers' charter' failed to get through parliament.
Powers to fight vague terrorist threats are inevitably turned on the workers' movement when we fight the bosses' austerity politics. Recently, army top brass is even reported to have discussed mutiny if left winger Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister.
Channel 4's 'real-life thriller' Hunted is a timely illustration of how the state keeps tabs on us. The show follows normal people attempting to escape their homes and avoid detection by the surveillance state. Its tools are deployed at frightening strength by experienced detectives.
For such a small country, we are one of the most watched nations in the world. Around five million CCTV cameras are already deployed.
Hunted highlights just how easy it is for the state to know our every move. As we rely more and more on mobile phones, the internet and credit cards, the state gathers more private information.
State security agency MI5 is well-known for monitoring trade union and socialist activists.
Spies insist they are not in the business of "browsing the lives" of the public. But by awarding itself further access to our personal information, the government may as well be taking the keys to our front doors.
The state's own policies - austerity at home and war abroad - threaten its ability to defend the rich. That is why it wants more repressive powers.
The Socialist Party fights for a society owned and run democratically by ordinary people in our own interests. Then there would be no need for state repression of workers.
In The Socialist 23 September 2015:
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