Surveillance needs better control, warn Lords

Surveillance needs better control, warn Lords: “The fundamental relationship between Government and the people of the UK is at risk because of the increasing surveillance being carried out by the state and by private bodies, a House of Lords Committee has said.”

The Lords Constitution Committee has warned that better checks and balances are needed on the use of surveillance if the basis of open democracy is not to be eroded by incursions into citizens’ privacy.

The Committee has published the results of an investigation into the amount and nature of surveillance in the UK.

“The huge rise in surveillance and data collection by the state and other organisations risks undermining the long standing traditions of privacy and individual freedom which are vital for democracy,” said Lord Goodlad, the Committee’s chairman. “If the public are to trust that information about them is not being improperly used there should be much more openness about what data is collected, by whom and how it is used.”

The House of Lords Constitution Committee Surveillance: Citizens and the State Report can be accessed as PD documents: HL 18-I and HL 18-II – both published on 06 February, 2009.

(Via OUT-LAW News.)

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