#1 Civil Liberties Campaigners: UK 'Orwellian', 'Threatens to Undermine Democracy'
02-06-2009, 08:59 AM
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- Jan 2009
- Central Florida
Warning over 'surveillance state'
Electronic surveillance and collection of personal data are "pervasive" in British society and threaten to undermine democracy, peers have warned.
The proliferation of CCTV cameras and the growth of the DNA database were two examples of threats to privacy, the Lords constitution committee said.
Those subject to unlawful surveillance should be compensated while the policy of DNA retention should be rethought.
The government said CCTV and DNA were "essential crime fighting tools".
But surveillance and data collection must be proportionate, it added.
Civil liberties campaigners have warned about the risks of a "surveillance society" in which the state acquires ever-greater powers to track people's movements and retain personal data.
Controversial government plans for a database to store details of people's phone calls and e-mails were put on hold late last year after they were branded "Orwellian".
Ministers are currently consulting on the plan, which would involve the details but not the content of calls and internet traffic being logged, saying it is essential to fighting terrorism.
In its report, the Lords constitution committee said growth in surveillance by both the state and the private sector risked threatening people's right to privacy, which it said was "an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of individual freedom".
The public were often unaware of the scale of personal information held and exchanged by public bodies, it said.
"There can be no justification for this gradual but incessant creep towards every detail about us being recorded and pored over by the state," committee chairman and Tory peer Lord Goodlad said.
Much more from the BBC..."Because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex; it will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principals and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours." -Reagan
SonnabendGuest02-06-2009, 03:19 PM
Bye bye Britain......sharia law courts, CCTV, repressive gun laws.....so much for Rule Britannia.:(
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