By Kate Moss
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Extra info for Balancing Liberty and Security: Human Rights, Human Wrongs
Since the Prevention of Terrorism Acts of the 1970’s, for example, terrorism laws have done little to ensure that society is safe from terrorist attack, but much to infringe the human rights and civil liberties of those living in the US and UK. Rather they have satiated a political desire for a ‘quick fix’ in response to terrorism and arguably have undermined not only civil liberties and human rights but one of the cornerstones of western democracy, namely the presumption of innocence as a core value of once robust democracies.
These include issues such as biometrics – particularly with regard to airline passengers and the justifications behind them – as well as developments in improving CCTV images. This is particularly relevant in relation to the use of such images in legal proceedings where they need to be clear to provide quality evidence. Developments in tracing and monitoring people through mobile phone calls, the use of ‘Oyster’ travel cards and the electronic scanning of work emails are becoming the norm. So too is the normalisation of having personal details verified over the telephone by, for example, credit card companies – who in turn make profits by selling information that they acquire when we purchase goods.
In addition, allegations of a subsequent cover-up have implicated Government agencies and authorities, including the police, the British Army, the UK security service (MI5) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland. It has also been alleged that his killing was the result of State policy. His was just one among a number of killings in Northern Ireland alleged to have been carried out with the collusion of UK security forces. indd 34 10/6/2011 1:18:25 PM Deviations from Civil Liberties 35 Irish Right Watch and the Pat Finucane Centre have called on the UK Government to proceed to an independent inquiry without delay.
Balancing Liberty and Security: Human Rights, Human Wrongs by Kate Moss