What does Britain have in common with Russia, China and Thailand?

They’re all endemic surveillance societies, according to Privacy International.

Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, notes:

The news that more than 1,000 requests a day are made to “intercept” our phone calls, post and email should come as no surprise to anyone observing Britain’s rapid descent into mass surveillance. What may be more of an eye-opener is the extent to which the Government has systematically embedded secrecy, incompetence and spin into the process.


The powers that allow this are contained in a statutory instrument implementing the EU Data Retention Directive, which was put in place to set the ground rules for spying on British communications. Under this power, every interaction you have on any phone anywhere in the country must be logged, stored and made available to government.


Most advanced democracies enjoy legal protections that limit the power of the state to conduct such extensive surveillance. Not so in Britain.


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