The best birthday present ever

I was reading the Guardian this morning and noticed this lovely story. They interviewed someone called Keith Bristow, the head of the National Crime Agency. The NCS has the same job as the FBI in the United States.  Get a load of this choice quote:

Britons must accept a greater loss of digital freedoms in return for greater safety from serious criminals and terrorists.’ He also mentions pedophiles because saying ‘think of the children‘ never hurts.

The article covers the interview’s highlights only. (I know because my people bugged the room.) But he follows up with another quote he says that for ‘policing by consent,’ the consent is ‘expressed through legislation.’  While this might sound nice remember that the Home Secretary called last week for greater mass surveillance powers. Presumably whoever wins power in the elections next year will claim that this gives them the required consent to pass the laws.

Just a few weeks ago, Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said ‘Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we would like. Regrettably for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift.’

Ah, trading freedoms for safety always works out, doesn’t it? It’s almost like playing quotation bingo with these issues now.

  • ‘Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.’ — Pitt the Younger
  • ‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ — Benjamin Franklin
  • ‘The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.’ — Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ — George Santayana

But what do we have instead? You guys becoming more like me.

As I said, a lovely present!

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