Privacy and where not to find it

Now this is depressing: the 2007 Privacy International survey on Leading surveillance societies in the EU and the World 2007

Okay, so the usual qualifiers have to be noted - who is undertaking the survey chief amongst them - and yes, there are worse human rights abuses than an invasion of citizen's privacy. But all the same, when much of the world is classed as being 'Endemic surveillance societies', it's not good.

Here's what it says about the UK
  • World leading surveillance schemes
  • Lack of accountability and data breach disclosure law
  • Commissioner has few powers
  • Interception of communications is authorised by politician, evidence not used in court, and oversight is by commissioner who reports only once a year upon reviewing a subset of applications
  • Hundreds of thousands of requests from government agencies to telecommunications providers for traffic data
  • Data retention scheme took a significant step forward with the quiet changes based on EU law
  • Plans are emerging regarding surveillance of communications networks for the protection of copyrighted content
  • Despite data breaches, 'joined-up government' initiatives continue
  • Identity scheme still planned to be the most invasive in the world, highly centralised and biometrics-driven; plan to issue all foreigners with cards in 2008 are continuing
  • E-borders plans include increased data collection on travellers

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