Big Brother in the UK

Like the United States, Britain is using the specter of terrorism to write new laws that erode domestic civil liberties. The House of Commons this week began considering a bill submitted by Prime Minister Tony Blair. According to the Guardian, "policy-makers have dusted down several of their more regressive proposals that have already been rebuffed once, to give them another run in the new coercive climate. ... The most serious infringement of civil rights ... remains the new internment proposal for the indefinite detention without trial of suspected foreign terrorists." Another provision requires internet service providers "to become a supporting arm of the police by retaining internet and email traffic details for 12 months to help not just terrorist inquiries but criminal investigations too. ... Similarly, another attempt is being made to erode Big Brother safeguards that prevent government departments which have collected confidential information on individuals for one purpose (tax, immigration) passing it on to another."