How Britain exported next-generation surveillance:

Technology is a tool: it is a process by which political and human desires are instantiated in the world. What is significant about that instantiation is that it must take a visible form. It may be a written, readable code, or a physical infrastructure in the landscape: servers in data centres, cameras on poles by the roadside, rusting signs on forecourt walls declaring the owner’s intentions.

When there is pressure to obscure that infrastructure—camouflaging cameras, closing down networks, or blocking freedom of information requests—a corresponding pressure is exerted on the very democracy it purports to uphold.