Because the British government wants to keep an eye on everything you do there and store it in a database. For you own safety and security, of course. Just in case you might happen to be a terrorist.
Probably the thing that worries me most about this is that the authorities generally don’t have a clue about how social networks are used. Many of us routinely accept “friend” requests from anyone who comes along, because we are public figures and it would be considered rude not to do so. But what happens if someone who friends you later turns out to actually be a terrorist, or a sex offender, or an illegal immigrant? Are you suddenly going to find yourself under investigation as an associate of this person? Unfortunately I suspect you are.
The other thing that worries me is that this renders any privacy systems that Facebook and the like might have in place useless, because all of the information will be available via the government databases which will almost certainly not be properly secured.
By the way, before anyone starts, I know the title was unfair to Facebook. The government wants to go after all social networks. They also want to keep track of every email you send, and every web site you visit. They are an equal opportunity snoop.
And finally, while we are on the subject, Joe Gordon reminds us that our ever-vigilant MPs have once again been passing laws that are so vague that any crank who happens to have a position of authority to use them to save children from the evils of comic books. Petition here. UK citizens go sign please.
George Orwell wants to be your friend. Do you know Mr. Orwell? Or his friend, Winston Smith?