I wonder to what extent this is all about perception, or rather mis-perception of risks?
Is this surveillance a concern about terrorist attacks and events causing loss of life on a great scale? In which case, assuming this is a kind of moral and safety argument, is it not morally equivalent to, for example, invest the same time, money and effort in car/road safety--assuming more people die per year in car crashes than in (potential) terrorist attacks? (I haven’t checked)
Or is the potential threat of terrorism more about preventing disruption/upsetting of existing social and political structures? Rarely have I heard people use this as an argument for wholesale monitoring. And does being able to invade the privacy of people, in secrecy and at will, by those in power risk the same thing?
To what extent is there really an economic angle on international security/surveillance, I wonder? For example, stealing intellectual property or attempting to influence foreign policies (or something along those lines) to prevent business/technologies/research with the potential to disrupt economic health back home, to the detriment of other nations. Is this a legitimate use of such surveillance powers?
If something isn’t currently legal, but those in power want it to be once revealed, it’s relatively easy to make it legal. I worry that, in the UK, the argument is too focused on legality, rather than the other factors.
I have no idea, these are musings. But I do know I don’t feel comfortable about the scale, level of intrusion, and power this surveillance brings.