Weekly spying diary, January 20th, 2015, no.2

by michaelhodges3

Spying again.

Why should you be bothered about it?

Well, I suppose that one reason is that, as a human being, I have certain rights.  And the ‘spying’ is trampling on those rights.  And if one person’s rights are trampled on, it sets the tone for other people’s rights to be trampled on.

Also, there is the effect it has on society.  Societies are shaped partly by popular entertainments and pastimes.  It doesn’t look good for society if spying is a popular pastime.  In some ways, it reminds me of some of the entertainments from the bad old days.

However, I realise that, even if you recognise spying as a bad thing, you will probably not want to stick your neck out too far for my sake.  The point to remember though is that this thing is about much, much more that just me.  It’s about the whole world.

I suppose there is an argument that the spying is actually a good thing, because it brings people together, from around the world, as customers. It’s difficult for me to have an objective judgement on this, but it looks to me, at this point in time, as though the bad of spying outweighs the good.  Maybe we need to come up with new ways to bring the world together, ways that don’t have such harmful side-effects.

What can you do about the spying?

One thing that anyone can do is to stop subscribing to the app, or whatever it is.  Just don’t bother with it.

If you’re not intending to stop subscribing, one thing you can do is to be as open and honest about things as you feel able to be.  Its not about what someone else is doing, its about you.  If you only feel able to talk in code about what’s happening, maybe that’s better than keeping quiet.

What I’m talking about is a gradual change towards more openness and honesty.

I suppose that I have to be a part of this.  I suppose that I have to be as open and honest about things as I feel able to be.  And that partly relates to how I respond to people.  Maybe I need to be better at responding to people.

If people are open about what’s happening, will they get into trouble with the authorities?  The honest answer is that I don’t know.  My guess is that, given the numbers involved, and the backgrounds of many of those involved, they wouldn’t get into serious trouble, but I don’t know that for certain.  Someone, with a legal background, once told me that the police would be unlikely to push for prosecution of people helping them with their enquiries, in this kind of case.  However, I’m not a legal expert, and so I can’t comment on that.

Constructive feedback is always welcome, so if you have some, please let me know.

Take care,