While this dragnet will affect only a small number of the four million British citizens who fly to America each year, it is nevertheless an ominous intrusion into personal privacy. Security services will always want access to as much information about individuals as possible. That is the nature of the beast. It is up to politicians to rein them in. In this instance, the politicians have failed us. But it is no surprise that the Labour Government has endorsed these measures (which have been divulged only because of a Freedom of Information request). For Tony Blair has used the terrorist threat as the excuse for an unparalleled assault on individual freedom in this country, from ID cards to a national DNA database, from biometric recognition to the proliferation of CCTV cameras. Why should he care if our closest ally joins the fun?
Monday, January 01, 2007
Brussels has signed a new deal giving the US government access to information on passengers flying to or through America, including credit card and e-mail details. The Telegraph does not approve: