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Britain’s freedoms under threat from ‘security state’, warns Director of Public Prosecutions

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Martin Bentham
UK Daily Mail
Monday, Oct 20, 2008

The country’s top prosecutor today delivered an unprecedented warning that crucial British freedoms are under threat from government plans for a ‘security state’.

Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald said there was a serious danger that ‘freedom’s back’ would be broken by decisions taken in coming months that could change irreversibly the way society is run.

He said the ‘relentless pressure of a security state’ was to blame and gave warning of a risk that the public could ‘end up living with something we can’t bear’ unless action was taken to halt the drive towards increasing government powers.

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Sir Ken’s warning, delivered at a lecture in London, will be seized upon by critics who accuse ministers of trying to set up a ‘Big Brother’ society with increasing state surveillance and powers.

It comes days after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she wanted greater powers to ensure that details of the e-mails, phone calls and web-browsing of all citizens were stored.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

There are similar concerns about the impact of the Government’s ID cards scheme and plans for a child database and a vastly expanded criminal records vetting system, plus greater use of CCTV and other surveillance techniques.

Ministers have sought to play down these concerns but, in a ferocious assault today, Sir Ken gave warning that the increasing use of technology could destroy British freedoms unless deployed with ‘great care’ and restraint.

‘We need to take very great care not to fall into a way of life in which freedom’s back is broken by the relentless pressure of a security state,’ he said.

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This article was posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 at 12:02 pm

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