As David Cameron pushes for more powers, should you be worried about the government's all-seeing eye?
David Cameron and Theresa May's post-Charlie Hebdo pledge to increase the government's ability to monitor everything we do appears to have resonated with the Sunday Times reading part of the UK's population.
In a YouGov poll commissioned by the broadsheet, the British public (sample size 1,647) answered a range of questions, from "Is David Cameron doing well as Prime Minister?" to "Would you say that British Muslims are friendly or unfriendly towards non-Muslims?".
A large portion of the survey focusses on surveillance. 53% of participants stated that internet and phone companies should be allowed to retain everyone's data for twelve months, with the police and counter-terrorism units allowed access to the information. 50% of readers "trust the police to behave responsibly" with these new powers. 52% believe that the government needs easier access to the public's communications in order to effectively fight terrorism. However, a majority oppose a ban on encryption – which makes sense, considering it'll probably never work.
The results will be music to David Cameron's ears: last week, the Prime Minister was campaigning hard to resurrect the controversial snoopers' charter. Will the ways in which we interact change if we think we're being listened in on? Probably.
"If you can't speak without worrying that you will be monitored by your government or your employer, then it will necessarily limit what you say," security researcher and hacker Morgan Marquis-Boire told us in an interview last week. "The most important censorship happens between your brain and the keyboard. Recent studies have shown that if you are aware of being constantly watched, you will invariably self-censor."
The implications of increasing surveillance are huge – it has the potential to alter our behaviour and relationships. Do we need actually need to increase it at all, even in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack? Let us know below.
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