You Won't Believe How Much Mass Surveillance Costs Each Household
You Won't Believe How Much Mass Surveillance Costs Each Household
By Mick Meaney / acclaimednews.com

The numbers are in. Not only does the British government spy on its citizens, it forces them to foot the bill. It is the taxpayers who bear the costs of the growth of mass surveillance. And the costs are far greater than earlier estimates suggested.

In 2012, official estimates of the costs of growing government surveillance pegged it at £1.8 billion. In fact, the actual cost is nearly ten times higher. According to calculations made by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Marks QC, the actual cost of government surveillance over ten years is £11.1 billion. This amounts to £500 for each household in the UK.

Speaking to Vice, David Mulcahy, a spokesperson for civil liberties campaign group Liberty, said:

“THE COSTS OF INTERCEPTION ARE LARGELY MET BY THE GOVERNMENT, WHO PAY SERVICE PROVIDERS MONEY TO PUT IN PLACE THE TECHNOLOGY AND PROCESSES TO INTERCEPT EMAILS. WE DON’T KNOW THE AMOUNT SPENT BY GOVERNMENT ON THIS, BUT A REPORT REVEALED THAT, IN PRACTICE, IT PAYS FOR 80 PERCENT OF THE CAPITAL COST OF NEW INTERCEPTION CAPABILITIES AND 100 PERCENT OF THE ONGOING OPERATIONAL COSTS.”

Jim Killock from the Open Rights group said:

“SOMEHOW, MASS SURVEILLANCE SEEMS LIKE A GREAT GOVERNMENT HOPE TO DO LAW ENFORCEMENT ON THE CHEAP, AND IT WON’T WORK. IT’S MORE THAN JUST RETENTION; IT WILL BE COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS. ONCE IT’S IN PLACE, IT WILL BE HARD TO STOP INVESTIGATORS ASKING TO USE ‘PREDICTIVE’ PATTERN ANALYSIS, WHICH OPENS UP PROFILING AND CHECKING OF THE WHOLE POPULATION.”

The earlier lower figure did not take into account inflation, VAT and depreciation, and the increase in volume of online communications and data transfer. The lessons from this are sobering. British citizens are essentially paying via taxes for private companies like Microsoft, Vodafone, Twitter and Facebook to spy on their personal communications.

A recently released report by David Anderson, commissioned by the government, calls this surveillance undemocratic and unnecessary. The report recommends replacing the current law with more transparent and proportionate practices, but will most likely be disregarded.

Business professor at Birmingham City University, Mike Jackson, said:

“AS FAR AS I AM AWARE, THERE WAS NO EXPLANATION AT THE TIME AS TO HOW THE FIGURE OF £1.8 BILLION WAS CALCULATED. ESSENTIALLY, THIS WAS VIEWED AS THE AMOUNT INTERNET COMPANIES WOULD NEED TO BE COMPENSATED OVER 10 YEARS FOR THE ADDITIONAL EFFORT OF STORING RECORDS.

“A RISE IN THE COST OF ACCESSING INTERNET AND MOBILE SERVICES HAS TO BE THE [ULTIMATE] OUTCOME. RATHER THAN RAISING DIRECT TAXES TO PAY FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE REALM, THE GOVERNMENT IS EFFECTIVELY PAYING FOR IT BY INDIRECT TAXATION. WHATEVER THE ACTUAL COSTS, THERE IS AN INEVITABILITY THAT, AT SOME POINT, PROVIDERS WILL BE EXPECTED TO MEET THEM ALONE AND CHARGE THE CONSUMERS AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT TO MEET THEM.”

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Why People Cling to Old Beliefs
1 min · 10,294 views today · Cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at McGill University, Daniel Levitin, explains why people can be so stubborn when it comes to false beliefs. This behavior is...
Stunning Summary of US Imperialism and Native Resistance... on MSNBC!
4 min · 9,191 views today · On The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Lawrence explains why a protest by Native Americans in North Dakota reminds us of the history American always tries to forget.
Veterans at Standing Rock Ask Forgiveness for War Crimes Against Tribal Nations
Jen Hayden · 8,546 views today · Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The...
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 8,155 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
Standing Rock Wisdom: How Sacred, Nonviolent Activism Has the Power to Succeed
Charles Eisenstein · 7,777 views today · I am told by Native American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay off the...
Solar is Already Producing More Energy Than Oil, Says Major Scientific Review
Nafeez Ahmed · 4,932 views today · And is twice as powerful than previously thought
13 Crises That We All Must Face
George Monbiot · 4,912 views today · We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.
Sky Roosevelt-Morris: The Secret of Indigenous Resiliency
2 min · 2,946 views today · Activist Sky Roosevelt-Morris is of the Shawnee and White Mountain Apache Nations. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. In...
The Other Way of Knowing
Lilian Na’ia Alessa · 2,209 views today · Western science and Indigenous worldviews are often seen as incompatible, with the Indigenous view usually being far less valued by society at large. But an inside look at...
Australian Government Promotes Crap with Adani Carmichael Coal Mine
2 min · 1,946 views today · The Australian Government just released this advert about the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine and it's surprisingly honest and informative. 6 WAYS YOU CAN HELP STOP CCRAP: 1...
15 Films Inspiring and Illuminating the 'New Story' Revolution
Tim Hjersted · 1,666 views today · Charles Eisenstein is one of the first people I heard talk about the "new story," synthesizing a diverse movement that has been emerging for the last several decades. When I go...
Andy Goes In - Working Undercover in a Factory Farm
10 min · 1,653 views today · He's a $10/hr farmhand, and his name isn't Andy. Andy Goes In is a compelling 10-minute documentary short about a Mercy For Animals undercover investigator. The vast majority...
DREAM: A Spoken Word Meditation For When Life Is Kicking Your Ass
4 min · 1,630 views today · If life is kicking your ass and the general un-coolness of everybody on planet erf is making you want to off yourself, TALK to someone: 800-273-8255 (national suicide...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 1,615 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Incredible Stories From 5 Inspirational Farms
12 min · 1,604 views today · In this series of 5 short films we visit five farms where incredible things sprout. From growing massive, 100-pound vegetables to giving injured animals another chance, these...
Mary Lyons Describes 'The We'
29 min · 1,561 views today · Beautiful. Listen to this. 
The Trouble With Equality: Feminism and the Forgotten Places of Power
Adebayo Akomolafe · 1,517 views today · "...Patriarchy is not the rule of men over women, it's the rule of the binary - the insistence that there really are sides, and that each is a pre-existing category unto...
Dear Activists, Maybe It's Time to Admit That We've Got It All Wrong
Mickey Z. · 1,433 views today · “The first step in the revolution is eye contact.” - Alicen Grey
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 1,409 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
How a White Supremacist Became a Civil Rights Activist
Araz Hachadourian · 1,085 views today · The story of a KKK leader’s transformation shows us that we need not live forever with the kind of violence we saw in Charleston this month.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
You Won't Believe How Much Mass Surveillance Costs Each Household