Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home Office blanches at Big Brother database

Big Brother databases
How astonishing. It appears that the government's authoritarian appetite for a massive central database of all UK communications is facing opposition even within the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office.

ACPO's Data Communications Group member Jack Wraith told the Sunday Times: "If someone’s got enough personal data on you and they don’t afford it the right protection and that data falls into the wrong hands, then it becomes a threat to you.” A leaked memo reveals that officials believe the plans are “impractical, disproportionate, politically unattractive and possibly unlawful from a human rights perspective.” No2ID has a list of the practical difficulties. Lord Carlile QC, the independent reviewer of terrorist legislation, said that the idea was "awful."

Henry Porter adds in the Observer:
Two years ago I wondered in these pages when the penny would drop with the British public and the media about the attack on civil liberties. It is plainly beginning to. The public is worried about the shoddy laws the government tries to rush past them with its phony calls for consensus and reasonableness.

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