he extent of NSA monitoring revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden showed that democratic and supposedly "free" governments do already attempt to monitor us. The scale of monitoring required is vast, but the technology is catching up. There are two technological changes that are taking place at present that I believe will fundamentally change our approach to privacy...
Illegal guns and child pornography are bought and sold. Terror groups are using Facebook to radicalise young people in their bedrooms. Islamic State propaganda is splattered across the internet in greater quantities and in plainer sight than ever. Why isn't Twitter capable of getting rid of this stuff? Social media companies should be doing more!
If the government really wanted to make a difference, it would properly penalise companies that underinvest in security and lose people's information with little to no impact. It would not ask them to increase the data they are holding about individuals. Holding more data about individuals will make subsequent data losses catastrophic to their everyday lives.
The answer to our surveillance dilemma lies in targeted surveillance, a warrant process overseen by the judiciary, an annual parliamentary public scrutiny of the security services, legislated protections for the professional privileges of doctors and lawyers and, most of all, a proper and lengthy public debate void of vague and fear inducing inferences to terror plots and criminal gangs.