.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tories revert to type

If anybody needed any confirmation of the futility of David Davis's resignation and the subsequent by-election campaign fought on the issue of civil liberties then this announcement by his successor, Dominic Grieve should provide it.

Whilst Davis languishes in glorious obscurity on the Conservative backbenches, his party's Shadow Home Secretary has started the process of dismantling all the good work that was carried out by the member for Haltemprice and Howarden in seeking to protect our freedoms from the attentions of an over-bearing state.

If they should get back into government the Conservatives will now allow the police to conduct intrusive surveillance of non-terrorist suspects without having to secure prior authorisation. Police will be permitted to automatically use covert video or listening devices in premises or vehicles, watch premises to identify or arrest suspects, conduct visual surveillance of public locations, patrol, in uniform or plain clothes, use thermal imaging and X-ray technology and conduct surveillance using visible CCTV cameras.

I accept that there is a need to reduce the amount of paperwork required of police officers but if we are to prevent unreasonable intrusion into people's privacy then there must be an effective overview of police operations to ensure that proper checks and balances are in place. The Tories' proposals will remove that overview and take away yet another pillar of freedom in this country.
Quote from Liberty's website

"The UK is the world leader in video surveillance. Britain is monitored by 4 million CCTV cameras, making us the most watched nation in the world.

There is one CCTV camera for every 14 people in the UK. If you live in London you are likely to be on cameras 300 times a day.

In the past decade the Home Office has spent 78% of its crime prevention budget on CCTV, before assessing its effectiveness in deterring or detecting crime...."

Again from the Liberty website, an item on Radio Frequency Identity

"RFID is an automatic identification system. An RFID tag transmits identification or location information, or specifics about the item tagged (i.e. price, colour, date of purchase).

As the technology is refined, more pervasive - and invasive - uses for RFID tags are in the works.

They are used in some travel cards, there are plans to put them on EURO banknotes and a Singaporean Hospital used them to track patients during the SARs scare. On the high street, stores and manufacturers have put them into everyday products.

In the UK, Marks & Spencer, Gillette and Tesco's have come under criticism for using RFID technology...."

As regards the two stores mentioned above, both have "Loyalty Cards", so the state will know what clothes you've purchased, your name and address, bank details, and your movements around these shops (no point having RFID in clothes unless you are using detectors around your stores)RF detectors are likely to be situated elsewhere in our towns cities and countryside. I'm surprised we all haven't been tagged with a microchip under the back of the neck like some valued pet.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?