February 8th, 2006



I was at a conference today on e-Saftey (the old term "Internet Safety" not being sexy enough) and the first main speaker was from the National Crime Squad. Superficially he made a lot of sense, anecdotes about armoured Land Rovers during his service with the RUC and talking about the internet as "any public space". But then he started going off as police officers sometimes seem to - trying to shock us and, I realised after, instill a real sense of fear.

Fear about paedophiles; fear about babysitters; fear that we had to help the police and fear that we're probably all criminals in one way or another.

It was all faintly distasteful. Another copper I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

Later it lightened up a bit later with the Juvenalian question "Quis custodes ipsos custodies?" which had been put up as "Quis custodiet ipod custodes?" - "Who's guarding the guard's ipod?".

I don't like fear. Instilling it is just rude.