Mi5 Privacy Laws Make No Sense

mi5 privacy laws

Sometimes I wake up, read headlines and think I have woken up in an alternate reality or that the headline I am reading is a joke. One such headline was about the Mi5 privacy laws.

In today’s society, it seems that most of the headlines are jokes with the punchlines are on us. I am sure I will post plenty more political and social commentary in the future, but for now I want to talk about two things that are on my radar at the moment.

UK Introducing a Porn-Pass

Okay, so this is perhaps a tad hyperbole, but in short, the UK government has decided that purveyors of internet porn aren’t doing enough to verify the ages of people visiting their sites.

Sound reasoning so far and surely, they are now having a meeting within the industry as well as drawing on other user verification channels to come up with a more robust and practical solution that is fair for all involved.

Wrong. Nope, we get a kneejerk reaction of banning all porn viewing online unless people submit credit card details or obtain a porn pass for a fee from selected retailers.

This Is Dumb Because…

Before I get into the exact reasons why this law is dumb, I want to state how disapproving I am of people making policies about technology that they clearly can’t fathom. It reminds me of the perplexingly awful questions the US Senate put to Mark Zuckerberg when they called him to testify.

Anyway, reasons why this is a dumb idea:

  • Anyone with an iota of internet savvy will know that you can bypass a location specific block by using a proxy server. For non tech people, it is a really straightforward way of tricking a porn site into thinking you’re viewing it from overseas instead of the UK.

Problems with a Porn Pass

Now, taking the obvious workaround out of the equation, let’s look at it from the perspective of this as an airtight measure and then look at the outcomes.

If people don’t want to get a porn-pass or are unable to (because we all know that underage (under 18) people look at porn) then they will seek out porn on parts of the internet that the government can’t censor, like the dark web.

I am sure there are people that are aware of the dark web but haven’t been there, I can tell you categorically now that the one place you do not want to be inadvertently directing underage people to is the dark web. There are parasitic insidious and vile predators that will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of this.

FOR THIS REASON ALONE, SOMEONE WITH COMMON SENSE AND POWER SHOULD INTERVENE AND STOP THIS LAW.

Data and Privacy

By paying for it, people are relinquishing data to goodness knows who that they are watching porn. While I am sure most have no shame in that fact, it is hardly a pastime for those to want to be stand up and counted.

Other Effects

Teenage Pregnancy will Rise. Yep, pretty obvious and this is an unknown quantity granted, but there is going to be a rise in teenage pregnancy. Without pornography to supplement the real thing, teenagers are going to participate in the real thing at a higher rate.

Potentially there could be a rise in Sex Crime. I can’t categorically say there will be, but I suspect that sex crime figures will increase after the law comes into effect.

This move is either a cynical move to tax the internet porn industry or it is a completely misjudged piece of legislation. Maybe it is both.

Without doubt, it should not be made a law and even more troubling for me is that I live in a time where this is even a thing.

london

Mi5 Privacy Laws – Failings

We move from one blanket policy to gain swathes of data to a policy where having that data is bad.

This is the legacy of the EU. Leave or Remain, you should agree, the EU has done extremely well at creating confusing legislation.

Government agencies rely on the data they collect, and warfare is becoming increasingly tech based. In the middle of this the EU decided that little old me and you matter, and we have rights too!

Yay for the EU. Because sweeping reforms bought in to protect people’s data and the way it is processed is really top stuff – except when you hold intelligence services to the same standard.

Intelligence Services Need to Operate Outside of the Law

Personally, I don’t get it at all, the intelligence services sole objective is to gather intelligence in order to protect our state. But now the EU has bought in a law that expects Mi5 and Mi6 to handle and process said data in a stringent and transparent way.

Mi5 Privacy Laws

Fuck off Brussels, I love your privacy laws, but I don’t care if Mi5 has me under 24/7 surveillance and all my tech bugged. Hell, I don’t care if they keep that data for longer than the permitted time.  It would of course be completely useless for Mi5 to do so except for maybe a laugh at some of the weird things I search and read about, but the point is I have nothing to hide from Mi5 or Mi6.

I would rather they had complete surveillance in place to prevent terrorist attacks or prevent foreign powers from assassinating people on British soil. I would rather they had all the information they could possibly need in order to form the backbone of a great sovereign state.

surveillance

Mi5 Privacy Laws are a Threat to Our Safety

Instead, heads of Mi5 and Mi6 are being treated as though they are running the police force or a major online business. At what point did the secret service become accountable to anyone?

My understanding is that they aren’t always accountable to the government even. Now they are dragged before courts and tribunals like naughty schoolboys before a headmaster.

I am a huge advocate of Mi5 and Mi6 operating as they see appropriate. I really cannot see the problem with them gathering as much private information as they want and keeping it for as long as they want.

Of course, the “what ifs” (people who will oppose this viewpoint) will say what if there is a leak. Well, if there is, Mi5 and Mi6 have bigger things to worry about if their security has been compromised and secondly, aside from that, so what… I might find out that Mrs Green down the road likes balloon porn.

In the larger context of what the vital information that is gathered is used for and to prevent, it all seems trivial.

Check Out My Other Blogs

If you enjoyed this little rant, you will probably like my other blog posts too, make sure you check them out!

Jon Logan

Jon Logan is an editorial consultant and author that loves living life without boundaries.

Over the past 5 years, his content at Immortal Wordsmith has helped thousands of readers gain new perspectives and discover interesting stories.

Jon holds several professional qualifications and is financially qualified in the UK. He left the humdrum world of financial advice to pursue a career in writing – his lifelong passion. He has partnered with local and global brands to help them grow their businesses and audiences through insightful and innovative content strategy.

Jon specialises in creating inspirational and thought-provoking writing that challenges readers to look beyond the confines of “the norm.” He uses dynamic writing styles to convey messages to diverse audiences from all walks of life. He is an avid explorer and loves sharing the world through his unique eyes with his readers.

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