UK Rolling Back Surveillance And Nanny State Laws

nocctvIronically, just days after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to London for tips on how to spy on citizens, the UK, recognized globally as the leading surveillance state, is taking steps to reverse many “nanny state” laws. John F. Burns reports for the New York Times:

Defying those who said it might be paralyzed by internal divisions, Britain’s new coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on Wednesday unveiled the most ambitious plan in decades for upending the highly centralized and often intrusive way the country is governed.

The plan, as laid out by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, would roll back a proliferation of “nanny state” laws, non-elected administrative bodies and surveillance systems — many of them a product of Labour’s 13 years in power — that critics say have curbed individual freedoms and enlarged state powers to a degree unrivaled by most other democratic societies.

Vowing that the coalition would end “the culture of spying on its citizens,” Mr. Clegg said it would “tear through the statute book,” scrapping a nationwide system of identity cards on which the Labour government spent huge sums, and abandoning a new generation of “biometric” passports that would hold a vastly expanded archive of personal data. In addition, he said, there would be new restrictions on the government’s right to intercept and hold personal Internet and e-mail traffic and to store DNA data from people not convicted of any crime.

Mr. Clegg said the changes would also place new curbs on tens of thousands of closed-circuit television cameras in public places — a field in which, critics say, Britain is a world leader. Those critics, have complained that despite the cameras — which the police use to trace the movement of suspects and victims through shopping centers, city streets, hospitals, gas stations and other public places — there has been little impact on crime rates over the years.

“It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding citizens get treated as if they have got something to hide,” Mr. Clegg said…

[continues in the New York Times]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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17 Comments on "UK Rolling Back Surveillance And Nanny State Laws"

  1. Hadrian999 | May 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

    now if they would stop exporting it to us.

  2. Hadrian999 | May 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm |

    now if they would stop exporting it to us.

  3. have complained that despite the cameras

  4. what r u thinking about?

  5. i think so also

  6. Today, iVillage is launching its two newest sites, Pregnancy & Parenting and Beauty & Style, and Kahn is following the same pattern that has guided her through the other vertical rollouts.

  7. IAC’s Mindspark Interactive division has bought a majority stake in diet tracking site DailyBurn. The site, which bills itself as the “fastest-growing diet and fitness tracking site on the web,” lets users calculate how much they are eating via a food database and create exercise plans; visitors can also compete in “fitness challenges.” It claims roughly 500,000 members, up from 125,000 a year ago.

  8. The acquisition is the first for Mindspark Interactive under Joey Levin, who was put in charge of the division in November. Mindspark’s other properties include virtual community Zwinky and fashion site GirlSense. IAC (NSDQ: IACI) says in a release that DailyBurn will “compliment its deep bench of top social and interactive properties.”

  9. No financial terms were released, although the deal fits with IAC’s recent track record of making smaller investments; IAC’s CitySearch invested in search marketer OrangeSoda in March, while Match.com purchased dating site Singlesnet in February, which the company told us it acquired for “virtually nothing.”

  10. DailyBurn had raised $525,000 in a seed round a year ago led by Founders Fund.

  11. Newsweek Sale Book: First Bids Due By June 2; Complete Financials

  12. Gannett Launches Digital Marketing Unit Aimed At Small Business

  13. Viacom-Google Unsealed: McGrath: ‘This Could Be Our MySpace’

  14. Another medical show from Shonda Rhimes. Shouldn't she be required to fix “Private Practice” first?

  15. This post, by definition, overlaps with the worlds of Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, so I’m cross-posting — absolutely not one you want to miss, both because of the event in New York, and because the landscape of works here engages issues about which readers here I know are passionate.

  16. This post, by definition, overlaps with the worlds of Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, so I’m cross-posting — absolutely not one you want to miss, both because of the event in New York, and because the landscape of works here engages issues about which readers here I know are passionate.

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