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George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece "1984," described a world of omnipresent government surveillance of its citizens.The British Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee officially confirmed last week that the government was engaged in mass surveillance of the communications of millions of people. That's because the intelligence services' trawling of the emails, text messages and other online communications of law-abiding individuals isn't actually mass surveillance. Belhadj is not a terrorist, and his court case against the government does not threaten the lives of British people. He is simply someone the government wants to silence, and based on the ISC report, that is enough for his communications with his lawyers to be legally intercepted.The intelligence services play a crucial role in protecting the United Kingdom. But there is no evidence that mass surveillance of our Internet activity is making us safer. Giving mass surveillance a retrospective legal basis will not change this, whatever the government decides to call it.
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