Big Brother's sinister reach needs to be restricted

09 June 2019 - 00:00 By SUNDAY TIMES

As Edward Snowden said: "Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively are less free." The whistleblower, who exposed the US National Security Agency for vacuuming up the phone data of millions of Americans, could have been speaking about SA's surveillance environment - a key feature of which was challenged in court this week by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Surveillance and interception is a legitimate tool to combat foreign threats, organised crime and other attacks on the social order. But secrets breed secrets, and the cover of darkness is quickly exploited by those with sinister intent. Globally, states have used surveillance against their own citizens as much as against perceived foreign enemies...

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