Plebgate, the Sousveillance society and your Boxing Day Browsing

We have a most interesting juxtaposition
– of press cover for the EU Information Commisioners’ “review” of Microsoft’s new terms and conditions,
– of the release of the EU Digital Priorities for 2013-4,
– of attacks on the appointment of Clare Perry to look at how to better help parents protect their children from those who would pervert their natural interest in the opposite sex
– of attacks on the current proposals for retaining intra-UK communications data in case it might be a value in “the ware against terror”
– of ongoing press cover for Plebgate, which I called Smeargate in my previous blog on the end of the myth of on-line anonymity.

Assuming that your Internet connection does not go down over Christmas, remember that everything you do on-line on Boxing Day (expectedto be a peak period for content download) will be recorded and may well be sold, legimately or otherwise, provided to security services (public or private) to “help protect you” and/or “used to improve services to you”.

If that depresses you, think also of “Plebgate” as an example of successful “sousveillance“,  albeit I am using a wider definition to include using some of the “big data” that is already out there to hold those in “authority” to account for their actions. That said, it is a salutory story from which you can derive a wide variety of conclusions. Mine would be:

1) Honesty is the best policy: if only because it is getting ever harder to hide your lies.   
2) Most of what you find on the Internet is even less reliable than the news or the papers.
3) Dig your garden (Voltaire: Candide)



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