Big Brother Watch manifesto makes plea for privacy

Jane Fae Ozimek writes in The Register:

Big Brother Watch has high hopes that the next government might listen to what it has to say on on the intersection of technology and civil liberties.

Only occasionally alarmist, Big Brother Watch are generally sound – and this manifesto, compiled with a little help from NO2ID and Privacy International, is no exception. It also has the distinct advantage – for researchers and journalists condemned to wade through the long-winded official party outpourings – of being confined to just two sides of A4, with one handy checklist of policies they would like to see an incoming government implement.

On the whole, there is little here for Reg readers to take issue with. Under three main headings – Privacy, Liberty and Surveillance – Big Brother Watch set out what they hope to see happening at once (within three months) within a year, and within five years.

Immediate demands include the scrapping of Contactpoint, the ID Card and the National Identity Register, along with a requirement for local councils to have a public consultation before installing any new CCTV.

Also scheduled for an abrupt and unceremonious end would be the intercept modernisation programme and the Independent Safeguarding Authority, responsible for our new vetting database.

The BBW manifesto is here.

The village that shows us what society really means

Deborah Orr writes in The Guardian:

Labour has governed badly because it has sought to wield authoritarian power over the private lives of ordinary people – eat your greens, get an ID card, get checked by the Criminal Records Bureau, don’t drink, don’t take drugs, don’t get pregnant too young, don’t be a lapdancer; while leaving the market to please itself – sell ghastly food full of corn syrup, hire whom you like from anywhere in the world you like, run children’s education, sell cheap booze at any hour, open clubs where young people can gather to get off their faces, bombard children with innuendo and sexual imagery, open a lapdancing venue. The “big government” spends much of its time and our money on servicing the people and communities that the market doesn’t fancy, or doesn’t treat well, rather than persuading the market that it has a moral duty to spread its own largesse, and use its power wisely. A “small government” won’t even do the former.