Civil Liberties Concerns in British War Against Terror

The outgoing British director of public prosecutions warned his country against using technologies that erode freedom to create a "security state" in the name of combating terrorism.

Proposals to extend the storage and use of communications data, such as e-mails and mobile phone records, for security purposes are proving highly contentious. The government also faces continued opposition to its proposals on identity cards.

Sir Ken Macdonald also assured his fellow citizens that "special courts, vetted judges and all the other paraphernalia of paranoia" are an unnecessary response to terrorism. Successful terrorism prosecutions prove that the existing legal system capably addresses crimes of terror without sacrificing civil liberties.

< CBS/NYTimes Poll: Obama 13 Points Ahead, Palin Tanking | McCain Denies He's Giving Up on Colorado >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I find the British reactions really bizarre (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 11:15:01 PM EST
    and yet a harbinger of things to come here.

    A good place to watch them is at Slashdot and FARK.

    But in addition to have more cameras pointed at more people, the latest claim from Britain is to want to track virtually all online activity and all cellphone usage.

    All to defeat the terrorists.

    Britain has no (none / 0) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 11:19:13 PM EST
    Bill of Rights, no constitutioal protections against this sort of thing whatsoever.  The Brit government is incredibly benign compared to Bush, and yet they have no compunction and little public resistance against this sort of thing.

    It's amazing (none / 0) (#3)
    by barryluda on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 11:38:29 PM EST
    that so many of us (people of all countries and all political points of view) just don't seem to learn from history.

    Let us hope that the pendulum of sacrificing civil liberties in the interest of protecting us from terrorism begins to swing the other way.

    Reminds me of a protest song my son wrote (you have to click on the third song called Freedom to Me).

    England scares the freedom-loving.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 10:13:50 AM EST
    crap outta me sometimes with their apparent disdain for individual liberty and individual privacy.  Maybe Ol' George should have named his masterpiece 2004 or 2014...pass the Victory Gin!

    That NHS healthcare and other beneficial socialist programs sure come at a price, a price I think is too high.

    They more frightened than we are (none / 0) (#5)
    by JayHub on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 12:19:14 PM EST
    It's true that the British public increasingly accepts a level of surveillance that would unthinkable here, but they have more reason to be frightened and frightened people are irrational.

    The UK has undergone three decades of sustained bombing attacks by the IRA and in the last few years has seen two significant bombing attacks by Islamic terrorists, one successful. More importantly, the recent bombings were carried out by members of the UK's own Islamic population, not terrorists who came from outside the country as in 9/11.

    No one in the US (except right wing nut jobs) seriously worries about getting blown up by a terrorist planting a bomb on the bus you take to work, but you think about it in the UK. Not as much as in Israel, but far more than here.

    Remember, with far less basis for real fear, we rounded up all the Japanese on the West Coast in WWII and put them in internment camps.