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Ireland and the UK, who’s watching what?

The United Kingdom is apparently the third most surveyed country in the world, right behind China and Russia, but what I’m wondering is where does Ireland stand with internet and data surveillance compared to our nosey neighbours.

I took a look at the Google goverment request transparency report and found that from July 2010 until June 2011 there was a request for a total of 95,651 takedowns in the UK, but in Ireland there is a total of less then 10 takedown requests starting from July 2009.

The reasons for the takedown requests in the uk between January to June 2011 include:

  • Google Web Search-defamation, privacy and security, other.
  • Google Images-Privacy and security.
  • Google earth, maps,places-Defamation.
  • YouTube-privacy and security,  national security, Violence, hate speech, other.
  • Blogger-Defamation, privacy and security.

Spies and espionage might remind you of things like james bond or the old communist Soviet union during the Cold War, but it is real, the UK is subject to the most surveillance within the western world including financial, CCTV, vehicle, public transport, telecommunications, workplace and of course data and internet surveillance.

On the 6th of february 2009 a report was made by the House of  Lords Constitution Committee; Surveillance: Citizens and the State, warned that increasing use of surveillance by the government and private companies is a serious threat to freedoms and constitutional rights, stating that “The expansion in the use of surveillance represents one of the most significant changes in the life of the nation since the end of the Second World War.

Although we may not have as many requested google takedowns as the UK we are just as bad,  at the end of March 2008 the Government began mass data surveillance, keeping track of all our activity, our entire digital imprint stored for up to two whole years, although the Criminal Justice act of 2005 suggests that our data would only be accessed in the situation of fighting terrorist offences, this is not in any way the truth, our telecommunication data may be accessed in the investigation of any crime whether it’s serious or trivial, our data can and probably will be accessed with or without “terrorist offences”.

Also just like the UK we are all subject to a whole variety of surveillance aswell.

So this springs a question to mind, do you really feel comfortable knowing that your data could possibly be accessed at any given time?, that you could be found with a few clicks of a computer mouse.

You tell me what you think in the comments.


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