Abuse of power by the state?
The real problem here is that the State *believes* that it has the absolute right to surveil us ... absolutely.
This is a REALLY BIG deal. Way back 30, 40, 50 years ago, before the Internet, the Home Secretary of the time had to sign a warrant to tap phone lines or intercept your mail. Somewhere during the intervening years the State has decided that mass surveillance is the norm, i.e. that is its somehow acceptable to hover up the whole of the internet, filter it, index it, data mine it etc. "just in case" they find something to do with terrorism, crime or something "in the national interest".
When did this come about and on who's authority? I argue that it is on no one's authority - our basic right to privacy has been "stolen" from us and we have been sleep walking in to a surveillance society ever since ...
Subsequent rules and limitations that government attempts to put in place to allegedly control or limit powers and mollify the masses (some of the provisions in RIPA etc.) could be considered as suggesting that government understands that it doesn't have limitless powers after all or even any power to act in this manner in the first place!
Government continues to skate around the issue with sound bites ... "think of the children", "if you have nothing to hide" .. etc. while trying to tack more and more bits of surveillance legislation on to other law making in the hope that they can continue to get away with something which is fundamentally an intrusion on our privacy and unconstitutional.
Government then gets upset when they are "found out" (Snowden, et al) and the people come to understand the size of the state surveillance being used against them. As a result some people take up increased use of encryption to protect themselves from the government and the state.
What the government wants is to continue increasing state sponsored surveillance bit-by-bit hoping that it can get its patchwork of legislation through unnoticed, by stealth or by misrepresentation.
This country needs a full, frank and proper debate on surveillance by the state versus privacy of the individual to sort out the balance of power along with what the state can (or cannot) do and what the people can (or cannot) do and it needs doing by Royal Commission or a Bill of Rights. After this we can - perhaps - make some sensible, proportionate and fitting legislation ...
I challenge Mr. Cameron to make primary legislation to give the state the power of mass surveillance that it is (already) using and to ban all forms of encryption that it cannot decode ... are you listening Mr. Cameron?