Even big brother thinks big brother can be dangerous.

The UN has warned against the dangers of too much data and too much surveillance.    In a report, the UN body said more needed to be done to ensure that surveillance was balanced against its harm to personal privacy, noting that:

  • mass retention of data to aid surveillance was “neither necessary nor proportionate”.
  • “disturbingly little” is known about the growing number of mass surveillance programmes because they are “rubber stamped”
  • a lack of transparency about the reasons governments approve or start large-scale monitoring of what people do online.

It’s what we’ve thought for a long time and refreshing to see someone, even if one of our “big brothers”, owning up.  It looks spookily like the kind of oversight envisioned in futuristic tales like Nineteen Eight-four  or Brazil.

The report said measures to force net companies, mobile operators and others to retain data on what people did online and whom they talked to had little justification.  Gathering data curbs privacy because there are too few limits on who could look at the data and what it could be used for.  Big brother, and every hacker, is watch YOU!

BBC: Mass surveillance ‘dangerous habit’, says UN rights body



Happiness = ...
"You might want to stay off the internet for a while"

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