Couched though it is in sober, responsible language, this is a truly shameful thing for her to say. The extent to which the security services should be allowed to listen to, record and analyse everyone’s private communications is a fraught issue. Many would contend that our loss of privacy in the face of an organisation as powerful as the government is, in effect, an enormous and unacceptable curtailment of freedom. They look to Benjamin Franklin’s warning that, by sacrificing liberty for safety, we forfeit our right to be either safe or free. Others say that, in a functioning democracy and these violent times, it’s prudent to grant the security services more investigative licence. Reasonable points can be made on both sides.
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