At the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 which helped win the Second World War, we salute those who fought, and especially those who were killed or grievously injured in the name of freedom. Nevertheless, on the day that we made our salute, the mobile communications operator gave a little hint that freedom is still at risk. It has released a listing of the nations where it has had to allow governments to intercept mobile communications for voice and data monitoring and for movement tracking and surveillance. And it is not just the “usual suspect” nations that are involved, the United Kingdom is specifically mentioned as are other western nations.
It is not just “Big Brother” surveillance that is a concern to those wanting to defend basic liberty. Other basic freedoms and rights enshrined in constitutions derived from the Magna Carta, which was signed 800 years ago, are now being eroded – usually under the pretext of national security or the war on terrorism. Most recently there has been an outcry in the United Kingdom over the increasing use of secret courts in legal cases.
As the comedian Tony Hancock once jested in a mock court room drama: “Madga Carter…did she die in vain?!” Sadly, if things carry on as they are, she just might have done…along with all those World War II heroes as well.
Read how gliders helped win the D-Day battle – once in a surprising way – and how they might one day fly on Mars here.