Civil liberties, national security and irony

This is a big subject and one where I’m increasingly of the opinion that we’re going too far in the wrong direction. ID Cards and imprisonment without trial are bad enough but things seem to be going even worse on the other side of the Atlantic (or the UK Government is better at hiding their nefarious plans).

Last weekend I came across an article in the Washington Post that says that the Bush administration is trying to pass a law which would restrict the rights of the press. It would, for example, make it possible to prosecute reporters who found that the President did something illegal or to publish information about a wiretap.

Fortunately press freedom hasn’t been completely decimated yet. The University of Chicago recently held a panel discussion on Civil liberties vs. national security. This write-up on Artstechnica is scary in places — why are such senior legal experts willing to toe the party line based on such flawed logic?

Meanwhile, apparently missing out on the irony, Congress is investigating some big Internet companies activities in China to see whether they’re doing naughty things like helping suppress free speech and imprison dissidents.