The U.K. has just passed the most the most extreme surveillance law ever undertaken in a supposed democracy.
The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer's top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand -- though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.
Not only that, the law also gives the intelligence agencies the power to hack into computers and devices of citizens (known as equipment interference), although some protected professions -- such as journalists and medical staff -- are layered with marginally better protections.
Even the tin-pot dictators infesting the United Nations object to the scope of the new law, although Britain is characterizing it as merely an update to an existing law that was passed 16 years ago. As might be imagined, tech companies opposed passage, and civil liberties organizations argued that the law gives the U.K the right to document everything done online - which, in fact, is the case.
As for what many consider to be a fundamental human right - the "right to privacy" - that has been outlawed in Britain. The development is unsurprising, given that in the country authorities have the right to enter personal residences in order to ascertain the energy efficiency of appliances, and they have the right to enter private property, tape measure in hand, to ensure that hedge heights do not exceed their maximum standard.
Brits have tolerated such nonsense for years as it is, so the erosion of online privacy, forced decryption, and other invasions by their government are only to be expected; this is a government that routinely deploys electronics-laden vans to determine that residents are not watching television with an unlicensed screen.
You'd almost think they were Democrats.
And indeed, over here, Democratics are regrouping with plans to increase our national screwing:
The lesson the party is learning from its loss is that it didn’t spend and regulate enough.