Here's Privacy International's full report on the UK, and it is sumarised as follows:
- 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
It is also interesting to note that countries have been getting worse, not better, over the last year or so; evidently those terrorists don't need to try to destroy our freedoms: our governments are doing quite well enough by themselves, thank you very much.
UPDATE: the Daily Mash emcompasses all the hope of the new year in a pithy byline.
2008 TO BE A 'LITANY OF UNREMITTING SHITNESS', SAY EXPERTS
THIS year will start shit and then get shitter until it gets so shit that eating a shit sandwich will seem like a blessed relief, a leading expert said last night.
Happy new year!