Shirley Williams, on Ming Campbell's ticket: Balancing liberty and security..in these dangerous times..only a temporary measure...really all for your own good...
Slip the shackles from your eyes. Real security has nothing to do with a trade-off with liberty. There's a reason why so many key threats to our security come from or pass through polities Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, the Murdoch press and the Home Office seem bent on emulating - Dubai, China, wherever, places that practice obsessive political control and security-by-obscurity, and equally obsessive free marketeering so far as it doesn't affect pet sectors (for Dubai - Dubai Ports World and Etisalat, for the UK - what? I reckon the property business and BAE). That kind of society's biggest products are connectivity and impunity.
Which is a sort of chemical recipe for maximum insecurity for everyone else, a monster n+1 problem in which there will always be a safe haven for the real (and necessary) enemy but never relief from constant harassment for the ordinary citizen. It's the paradox of Pareto efficiency applied to counter-terrorism: moving towards greater control in one state means either a move away from economic efficiency in that state, or the transfer of insecurity to others. Either all are tyrannous (and effectively so) and secure, or all are free. All the intermediate points are worse.
I hope I haven't given anyone ideas. John Robb talks of security being packetised, but I really can't imagine what he means. The problem is that, far from the ideal of Internet utopians, the ideal of the network state that our government has latched onto is a porn hosting company's server farm - very, very secure in the sense of needing all the hardware tokens, passwords and badges to get in and out, and keeping all the logs for the police to peruse, but completely amoral and dedicated to profit, and probably riddled with spyware.