The Six County Surveillance State

A state in which every member of the public may have their phone records checked without consent or knowledge, emails intercepted by an army of government officials, department bureaucrats and borough representatives.

This is not the security measures of some distant dictatorship or the act of a fictional government from an Orwellian nightmare. No, It is legislation currently in place in a fraction of a small island neighbouring Scotland, England and Wales.

Yes departments of the infant northern state have adopted the invasionary methods of extreme surveillance of their parent state, citizens of the North are being treated as potential criminals rather than members of the public with rights to privacy and freedom from insidious and clandestine monitoring. It is through the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) or Snoopers Charter which has allowed for an increasingly large number of invasionary monitoring of calls, texts and emails without consent.

The Stormont Department for Infrastructure has used the act well over one hundred times since the legislation’s arrival in the North, the usage doubling since last year. The acquisition of electronic communications is but one power of the legislation, under the RIPA a multitude of authorities now have powers to allow for members of the to be public physically followed and observed without their knowledge. For whatever reason these government officials deem necessary, you may be the target of state spying.

The term “National Security” is often used to justify such powers of intrusion, the gullible will listen intently in fear of some imaginary threat, believing that the national security is in reference to their own. The rational will question such phraseology.Should such powers be necessary to combat some external threat, why then you must ask, has anti-terror legislation been gratuitously used against those suspected of receiving benefits which the government deem not deserving? Almost six hundred have become the target of undercover investigators, of phone monitoring and internet surveillance for no other reason other than their benefits.

Rather than national security, it is clear that these powers simply allow for greater state control and have and will continue to be used to the detriment of the working class. The policy makers, those that draft legislation, and the spokespersons that defend them depend on the majority’s support for these laws to exist. Fear mongering and misinformation allows for governmental officials to pass laws that run contrary to the rights and interests of the working class.

In a state in which people lack job security, wait years on adequate housing, education is suffering damaging cuts and the health service is at crisis point and has been for some time. With this plethora of insecurities which equate to the personal insecurities that those on the lowest wages must endure. The RIPA in contrast represents the relationship between state and citizen. One of distrust, of manipulation and of exploitation. RNU maintains that a state not run for the working class, by the working class will, without exception, work against the interests of that class.