Last night I went and saw the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. First off, it was brilliant and I recommend seeing it if you enjoy a good action movie. But secondly, many of the themes that I noticed reinforced some of the opinions bandied about at the ASI.
Without giving anything away, (and trust me if this was all there was to the plot, it would not have been very good) Batman uses cell phone technology to create a vast tracking network. With this network he can find anybody’s location using voice recognition and sonar technology (at least that’s how my minimal tech knowledge understood it). The point here is that Bruce Wayne created a system that could find and track anybody, which is somewhat along the lines of a Bluetooth experiment being conducted in Bath.
Now it made me wonder, is it acceptable for the “incorruptible Batman", to use the words of the Joker, to monitor people in the name of protection and “good". Most certainly not, as his good friend and Bat-suit designer, Morgan Freeman, points out. So finally to my point: if Gotham’s saviour of the night, who performs his service in the name of ending crime and personal safety for all without any personal agenda isn’t a good enough authority to monitor ordinary citizens, what makes government more qualified?
They aren’t and they should take a page out of Batman’s script: no one should infringe upon citizens’ civil liberties of privacy in order to protect them. That is why expansion of FISA and an internet communications database are unacceptable and gross violations of rights.