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In Europe (and we see this all over the world now) we also have what I would call network surveillance, for example the "Data Retention Directive" in EU[0].

The philosophy is: «We are observing you and saving the data, but if you do not do anything illegal no one would ever see what we have recorded. So, you can't really call it surveillance."

These are actual arguments made in this debate, and it reminds me that we are not only under surveillance by cameras, but also online.

What this guy is doing in the videos is (probably) not illegal, just really offensive and obtrusive. Equally disrespectful are the surveillance cameras, only they are hidden away. Out of sight, out of mind.

[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Retention_Directive




From your link:

Under the directive the police and security agencies will be able to request access to details such as IP address and time of use of every email, phone call and text message sent or received. A permission to access the information will be granted only by a court.

If they require a court order, that is a significant safeguard, and much better than police/security having access to the saved data at will. Or perhaps I should say it would be much worse without the safeguard; retaining that data still looks creepy to me.

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I'm a fairly strong privacy advocate, but even I don't think this particular kind of legislation is being implemented with malicious intent.

It does serve a purpose, helping bring an awful lot of people to justice. By that I don't mean people committing mundane 'crimes' like copyright infringement, but serious criminals like murderers and rapists are often caught out, or at least have the case against them strengthened, by their online search histories, or the location of their cell phone when an incident took place, or SMS messages they sent to accomplices, so on and so forth.

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