“Governments must not use cybersecurity as an excuse for censorship or to deny people their opportunities that the internet represents”.
So said David Cameron in 2011, criticising internet censorship and monitoring carried out by other countries around the world.
In 2013, this is the same man who wants to see internet filters installed in homes across the country and whose government collects huge quantities of data from the transatlantic cables that form the internet’s backbone.
The argument trotted out by supporters is that Western spying programmes prevent terrorist attacks. They probably do, but have also been used in ways that chill the freedom of speech. Case in point: the NSA appear to have gathered phone metadata on New Zealand journalist Jon Stephenson on behalf of the New Zealand government, in order to help identify his sources.