We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Police state Britain: watching your every move and reading your e-mail

We received an e-mail from Samizdata reader Kevin Connors asking why we do not focus more on the dire state of civil liberties in Britain and pointing us at an article in Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (aptly known as RIP) is one of the most draconian Big Brother surveillance laws of its type in the western world and that came into effect in October 2000. Not only is it intentionally worded as to be largely unintelligible (thus providing ‘wiggle room’ for whatever the state wishes to do), but it reverses the burden of proof when the state demands crypto-keys. The key holder, not the state, is required to prove they do not have access to them if they are demanded or face two years in jail.

Whilst on the subject of surveillance, Britain has the dubious honour of leading the world in closed circuit television (CCTV), with more per capita than that ‘bastion’ of civil liberties, Israel, which at least has the excuse of a genuine and demonstrable daily security threat.

This government is also attempting to restrict the automatic right to trial by jury. This is one of the fundamental ancient bedrocks of British liberty and yet it is under attack for reasons of crude utility. Although there is opposition to this astonishing assault, it is a testament to British apathy that people are not rioting on the streets at the mere prospect of such a huge diminution of a basic underpinning of liberty.

And civilian gun ownership in Britain? Oh, don’t get me started on that monstrous tale of confiscation and repression. That deserves an article of it’s own.

Comments are closed.