Probably not something that is making waves in your part of the world, unless you’re reading this from the UK.
This week The Snoopers’ Charter passed into law in the UK. I’m not even going to give it its official title, because ‘The Snoopers’ Charter’ is a more accurate reflection of its proper ‘value’.
Essentially, it requires that Internet service providers and mobile phone companies to maintain records of each user’s internet browsing activity (including social media), email correspondence, voice calls, internet gaming, and mobile phone messaging services and store the records for 12 months.
All in the name of your (in)security, you understand.
So each time I log into SLN2 and blog…that’s going onto a record somewhere in case I’m using digital technology for…well, not even ‘terrorist’ or ‘criminal’ purposes. If I do a photo search, it’s recorded, and I do a lot of searches of naturist websites to provide the background information I do on the lifestyle. On that basis, I don’t really care much about the records. I’m a naturist.
But here’s the rub…should the government determine that naturism is some sort of sex-beast exhibitionist sex-crime (and believe me, the national organisation British Naturism have previously had to fight hard to ensure there was some sort of separation between ordinary naturists and flashers, for example) then I’m going to gaol, for a very long time! 🙂
‘Oh, it’ll never happen’, people say. But the example I’ve given above, of no legal separation between naturists and exhibitionists, as set down in the draft law, shows how quickly people could end up on the wrong side of the law.
It’s only when a naturist ends up in court for ‘browsing unsavoury websites’ that we will begin to see how much of an infringement of our civil liberties. I mean, who determines what is unsavoury?
There will be those out there who regard naturism as orgies, exhibitionism, wanton displays and, well, unsavoury. Do I wish to be judged such on the basis of visiting certain (to me) wholesome websites? I don’t.
And what happens if I click a link that leads me to a site that isn’t ‘naturist’ but pornographic or exploitative, even though I had no idea what that site contained? I’ll back out of it straightaway, but that ‘browsing history’ record remains. Will I be judged on clicking on a link to a site I’d no notion what lay beyond? Theoretically, yes. You can be absolutely certain that should I end up in court for something trivial…refusing to pay water rates because the supplier failed to supply for two months, say, you can bet your bottom dollar that the prosecuting team will have asked for my internet records to see what else they can lump onto their case.
‘Your Honour, Ms. Keng has a long track record of emailing the local council demanding all residents should refuse to pay…she’s clearly some sort of civic terrorist. While checking these records we discovered she’s a sex-beast naturist who exposes herself in public, and she once did a search for Guantanamo Bay, so we demand an orange jump suit and a rendition flight’.
I exaggerate, but only slightly. Enshrined in law, the Snoopers’ Charter will inevitably be used against the people for the purposes of criminalising them, be it for taking our clothes off in public -and in locations which aren’t actually ‘official’ naturist locations- for educating ourselves (doing a search for Guantanamo Bay human rights abuses, for example) or for telling our friends on social media that Politican X is an idiot, thereby condemning ourselves as plotting sedition.
It’s not just the UK. Remember the story from Virginia where a man was brewing coffee, naked, in his own house and was arrested because a woman and her child (who appear to have been trespassing through his front garden) happened to see him?
It will happen if this passes fully into law, and sooner than you might imagine I’d forecast someone is jailed on the basis of the info harvested from ISP records, and the crowing that ‘we’re defeating terrorism’.
While this photo is alleged to be a fake, the graphic below shows how accurate Orwell’s vision of 1984 actually is.
There’s between 4 & 6m CCTV cameras in the UK, the equivalent of 1 for every 11 people. For (in)security, you understand.
Today’s Guardian carries a piece on the Snoopers’ Charter, and as you might imagine has resulted in a huge number of comments (1700 as I write this) almost all opposed to it.
Fortunately, in the UK, anyone can set up a petition whereby 100,000 + signatories can demand something be debated in parliament.
At the time of writing, over 130,000 signatures have been added to that petition.
We’ve set up a number of cameras at SLN2 HQ (these are available on the Marketplace, priced at L$0). Despite being free, they’re actually quite useful as you can set them and point them around your land, and then click on them to give you a direct view of what’s going on in the camera’s sight lines. Quite useful if people turn up unwanted at the other end of your land and begin abusing rezzing rights or pose balls you’re paying for, and then eject them…on the other hand…you’re utilising them for the exact same purposes the UK government claim they utilise CCTV for. Oh, the irony!
We’ve over-egged the pudding with the photo to replicate UK RL with SL, and the enormous number of cameras dotting our streets.
Of course, there is one way to fight back 😉
L$199 will buy you a ‘flasher’s mac’ on the Marketplace too!
If the government wants some dirt on you, give it to them!
These would make great photos to go alongside your ‘rap sheet’ of internet searches whenever the UK’s surveillance culture comes for you.
Oppose the Snoopers’ Charter. And (are your reading, insecurity services?) maybe even taken naturism into the High Street, flash-flashes, if you will, to tie up their system for months.