We must scrutinise Trump’s Travel Ban without ignoring the deeply troubling measures being passed elsewhereby Allan Hogarth / February 17, 2017 / Leave a comment
The world’s focus is rightly on Donald Trump’s counter-terrorism measures at the moment, and while those deserve all the scrutiny they are receiving, many security measures closer to home perhaps deserve just as much. Across the European Union, governments have been introducing and expanding counter-terror laws that threaten to have devastating consequences for privacy in the UK—and beyond.
As a result of these measures, as well as a general atmosphere of suspicion, passengers have removed from planes because they “looked like terrorists,” women banned from wearing full body swimsuits on the beach in France, refugee children in Greece arrested for playing with plastic guns and puppeteers arrested in Spain for “glorifying terrorism.” We’re a way off the full dystopia yet, but it is no surprise that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is topping the best-seller lists at the moment.
When the UK government passed a law last November allowing the mass collection of data from all UK citizens, it gave itself some of the most sweeping surveillance powers not just in Europe, but in the world. The Investigatory Powers Act, more popularly known as the “Snoopers’ Charter,” allows for the indiscriminate collection of data: web and phone companies will be required to store records of every website visited by every UK citizen for 12 months, for access by the police and security services.