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Europe: the total surveillance super-state

Although I have never been a huge fan of Statewatch, a civil liberties advocacy group whose membership contains a high proportion of socialists (which I have always thought analogous to a temperance society whose membership contains a high proportion of brewers), the latest Statewatch press release is well worth reading.

They clearly lay out how the European Union is about to take a giant leap towards the sort of total surveillance super-state that the Soviet Union could only dream of implementing. As Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments in the press release:

EU governments claimed that changes to the 1997 EC Directive on privacy in telecommunications to allow for data retention and access by the law enforcement agencies would not be binding on Members States – each national parliament would have to decide. Now we know that all along they were intending to make it binding, “compulsory”, across Europe.

The right to privacy in our communications – e-mails, phone-calls, faxes and mobile phones – was a hard-won right which has now been taken away. Under the guise of fighting “terrorism” everyone’s communications are to be placed under surveillance.

Gone too under the draft Framework Decision are basic rights of data protection, proper rules of procedure, scrutiny by supervisory bodies and judicial review

The Panopticon super-state ‘of the future’ is now very much upon us.

When the state watches you,
dare to stare back


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