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Papieres Bitte!

Posted by James Hammerton @ 11:05 am on 12 August, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, culture of suspicion.
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Further to the earlier article on the tactics being used in the run up to the Labour party conference in Brighton, The Daily Express reports:

Squads of officers will carry out door-to-door interviews to weed out potential threats to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton next month.

Home owners and workers will have to produce passports, birth certificates, driving licences, proof of employment, and even provide the names of referees to show they are of good character.

They will also be quizzed on their religion to see if they have connections with Muslim fanatics. Critics said the “Gestapo” tactics were another sign that Britain is lurching towards an autocratic state.

Note the pretext is that the Labour conference is a potential target for terrorism (yet it’d be simple for a terrorist to evade these checks). Similar logic could be used to justify random checks of homes and workplaces within the vicinity of other potential targets such as tourist attractions, public buildings, shopping centres, train stations, indeed anywhere where large crowds of people gather.

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