Trust the machine

Reason four million, twenty four thousand, six hundred and forty nine not to trust the massive power grab by the state and agents of it: some of those agents aren’t really that nice.

A former Lancashire police officer who abused his police powers to uncover his wife’s affair has been sentenced to 150 hours’ community service.

Andrew Liptrot, 47, seized CCTV from two pubs where he suspected his wife had met another man, on the pretext he was investigating a crime.

He was cleared of assault but admitted seven counts of misconduct in a public office in January.

We’ve always instilled the police with a certain amount of power, but there aren’t as many checks on them these days; fifteen years ago a police officer would have to get a dozen of his friends involved to get that sort of surveillance on his wife and her lover. Now, he walks into a bar, flashes his warrant card and gets a recording of the activities of dozens of people.

We’ve always allowed a good few people to have access to some pretty detailed information on all of us. But now we’ve apparently decided that hundreds of thousands of people deserve that access. Well, I say we’ve decided; I mean that others decided for us without so much as a polite request to do so.

Hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps even millions, now have handy access to our communications data, or movements, our spending habits, our health records. How many of them are worthy of that trust, d’ye think?

I’ll leave you with that pleasant thought. And why you’re musing, I’ll be off enjoying a fun day long training session on PAYE. Because what I really need is to spend more time musing on how much money the state steals from us…

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