A guy I know thought it was ridiculous how I was so against the government demanding backdoors to chat logs of encrypted services like WhatsApp and iMessage, all for the apparent sake of identifying, monitoring, and cracking down on terrorists. One of my points at the time was how, while the government may well use it solely for that at first, they will never abandon that power once they have it, and any number of new laws could be put into action in the future which take advantage of it in ways it was [supposedly] never intended to be used.
Honestly, I was saying that kind of thing with the idea that it’d be at least a decade before any such laws appeared. Then, not even 6 months later, this happens. Schools, universities, GPs, hospitals, Jobcentre – even nurseries – will be required, by law, to report any persons who may be extremists or at risk of being radicalised. The criteria for it all is ridiculously vague, too. The article discusses in detail some very good points, such as how it will lead to organisations already failing to prevent known extremists from committing acts of terrorism becoming even further swamped with [mostly harmless] potential targets, so I won’t cover those.
I will, however, raise a point that I didn’t notice anywhere in the article: the Nazi Gestapo were so effective because they’d created a society of fear and encouraged people, especially children, to report their neighbours and even their own family for any sort of suspicious behaviour – though it seems a good chunk of people were reporting others for petty things like greed or jealousy. Call me a pessimist, but I’d say we’re getting a bit too close to that sort of world. The world George Orwell wrote about in the book 1984, where the citizenry are monitored constantly while an eternal war that might not even exist looms over all, constantly enforcing fear and purpose within society.