Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brown turns civil libertarian

Why do I find it really hard to believe that Gordon Brown's speech on liberty, as reported by the Beeb, is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. He has apparently called for a Bill of Rights (probably an excuse to abolish the Human Rights Act - a Conservative idea), a review focused on the protection and extension of the Freedom of Information Act to the private sector, a review of the effective prohibition of protest in Parliament Square and a review of the sharing of personal data in the public and private sectors. He even praised Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, who has been a calm and rational critic of the government's vast extension of the surveillance state and their ID card plans in particular.

I suspect the clue is in the word "review". The reviews which come up with government friendly answers will be widely proclaimed in the media and those which can't be appropriately spun will be quietly lost or declared to contain commercially sensitive or national security threatening information.

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