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Would we be better off in a benign surveillance state?

By Duncan Brown  

Who guards the guards?

Libertarian rhetoric often invokes civil liberties as the sine qua non of civilised society, but does sound and fury about scrapping ID cards and databases merely create obstacles to a potential goldseam of progressive government?

In the outline of the Lib-Con (or, if you prefer, Con-Dem) agreement released today, for example, is a sketch of a magnificent-sounding “Great Repeal Bill” on civil liberties. It promises to draw back New Labour’s horrid “illiberal hand of the state, creeping further into…

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