Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time to reverse the rise of the ‘surveillance state’

A future Conservative Government will drastically scale back the intrusive and ineffective ‘Big Brother’ state. New policies by Conservatives are pledging to offer an alternative to Whitehall’s curtailment of civil liberties and stop taxpayers’ money being wasted on expensive and ineffective IT databases.

This comes amid growing concern about the Government’s new Independent Safeguarding Authority. This scheme could force 11 million adults to be vetted and monitored – even if they just give lifts to children as part of a school run or local football club.
  • Conservative proposals include:
  • Scrapping the National Identity Register, which will contain personal details of every citizen, and abolishing the Identity Cards that will accompany the database.
  • Ditching the ContactPoint database – which holds the names, dates of birth, schools and home addresses of all 11 million children in England until the age of 18, but is entirely separate from the children at risk registers.
  • Ending the permanent retention of innocent people’s DNA on the National DNA database.
  • Preventing councils from using controversial anti-terror laws to spy on local citizens; surveillance could only be used where necessary to stop a serious crime (involving a custodial sentence) and where a magistrates’ warrant has been obtained.
Subjecting all new laws to a new ‘privacy’ test, and beefing up the role of the privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner.

20th September 2009

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