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Bill customers for surveillance

Mainly on 'phones
  (+5, -3)
(+5, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

It presumably costs the government quite a lot to spy on us and it would be helpful to both them and us for us to know we were being spied on - it would act as a deterrent and we would be able to find alternate arrangements for communication. Therefore, i propose that we are explicitly billed for their surveillance in order to reduce cost to the tax payer. When they actually use their presumed ability to listen to us, the fact should be acknowledged on the bill and itemised, and a fee of some kind should be added. The same should be applied to the other methods they use. We should also be informed in advance of their intentions so we can take it into consideration. After all, they would presumably prefer us not to be doing whatever it is they're spying on us for, so rather than just making the 'phone line sound funny, they should just tell us, maybe by 'phone call or in the post, and we'd all be a lot happier.

It'd also be a nice gesture for us to take the guys in the unmarked vans a cuppa every now and again.

nineteenthly, Apr 24 2010

[link]






       This idea was also in the film “Brazil”.
Ian Tindale, Apr 24 2010
  

       For interrogation, yes. For surveillance though? Don't remember that.
nineteenthly, Apr 24 2010
  

       Makes sense, as long as the charge comes *after* the surveillance. Like the ROC "bullet fee" whereby the family of the condemned paid for the execution.   

       However: //to reduce cost to the tax payer// assumes there's a distinction between "those under surveillance" and the general population of taxpayers. Under this system, I expect the two groups would become coextensive.
mouseposture, Apr 24 2010
  

       [+] might make prosecution easier too...   

       "Oy, we're going to be billing you for a 6-man surveillance team for 2 weeks for the crime of..."   

       "I dunnit, I dunnit, please don't bill me!"
FlyingToaster, Apr 25 2010
  

       // Under this system, I expect the two groups would become coextensive. // Actually, i think the people spied on are less likely to pay income tax, which makes me think that GST/VAT on 'phones and so forth, if there were enough. Maybe it should be itemised on the receipt in that case.
nineteenthly, Apr 25 2010
  

       If I am under surveillance, surely I am not the customer (unless I actually asked to be put under surveillance - which would probably be some kind of perversion).
Twizz, Apr 27 2010
  

       I don't see why the customer should be billed. That is soooo last season, baby. The future is advertisements. That's the Google way.   

       "Hi, Mum"
"Hello, son. How are you doing?"
*bing-bong*
Today's phone tap was brought to you today by tesco. Every little helps...
Jinbish, Apr 27 2010
  
      
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