Re: Britain's got secrets
>If only. The UK public would stain to reach a dim red glow, unless it's about TV or sport- on TV.
Bread and Circuses have always been used to control the public. Just as spying has been used probably since people started to form complex societies and structures such as villages, towns, cities and then countries. They are three tools used keep the people in power in power.
Luke 11 could be a Troll or one of the most naive readers of El Reg - after all most people who read this site know of Echelon and are smart enough to understand bread and circuses references. Luke please see Duncan Campbell's 1988 article in the Newstatesman for some of the earliest info on data gathering. Oh and I think people said similar things of Campbell as they are saying of Snowden.
We have to assume that since Bread, Circuses and Spying are fundamental to human existence then these will evolve in complexity as society does. Echelon has evolved into today's data gathering and data mining. The question then is not "do they monitor us?" - but "is that power evidently being abused?" Snowden so far has only told us what a reasonably intelligent person could have guessed in that governmental powers use technology to spy on people.
So we should consider that monitoring can be done, and worry about the controls around that monitoring. Whilst the argument from some quarters would be that they don't abuse the power, and that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear - I would question that view. Society without proper checks and balances is not a good society. If people have a reason, based on a sound suspicion or evidence, that someone's communications need monitoring, then take that evidence to a person appointed to be an independent arbiter. If the arbiter signs off then monitor and analyse, but if it turns up nothing then destroy the collected information. We need to ask if the approach we appear to be allowing our security services to indulge in; ie monitor and analyse everything, is acceptable. That approach wouldn't have been out of place in Stalins Russia or Hitlers Germany and isn't something we should just accept.