One of the Prime Minister’s closest advisors has warned that the Home Office’s Communications Data plans to monitor email and web use could be “disastrous” and compared it to North Korea.
As reported by the Telegraph, Ben Hammersley, a Number 10 adviser to the Tech City project, the told magazine Tank:
“As a society, it would be stupid to build the infrastructure that could be used to oppress us. It just never works out well, because even if you’re using it for good stuff now, the fact that we don’t know who is going to be in charge in ten years’ time means that we shouldn’t give them free toys to play with.”
This follows remarks he made last year, when Mr Hammersley said the plans were ‘hilarious’ because of their technical naivety:
“The idea that the internet is like the postal service or like the copper line phone network in that it can be monitored in such a way is hilarious, because it can’t be technologically speaking, unless you become North Korea. Unless you become massively draconian you can’t either monitor propery or censor completely the internet.”
We previously highlighted the number of public organisations given access to the data – covering who you email, which websites you browse and the social media messages you send – is inevitably going to increase, with more than 30 already asking for the data before the bill has even been presented to parliament. This ‘function creep’ was also identified by Hammersley, who warned :
“I don’t trust future governments. The successors of the politicians who put this in place might not be trustworthy.