Over here we effectively have NO constitutional rights. We do not have an effective right to silence anymore. Coming soon, the abolition of right to trial by jury for certain offences. The Prevention of Terrorism Act is heartily endorsed by all of our spineless politicians and allows police to detain and question you without trial or access to a lawyer. For more on this this theme, see this essay by Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance.
Lately in this country, people seem prepared to cower behind their front door in a crisis and wait for the "cavalry" to arrive, whilst simultaneously informing on their neighbours.
America seems a place of Liberty and free speech compared to what this country is becoming. I believe that the U.K. is turning into a police state. A Russian citizen recently criticised me, saying this country WAS free. A question of relativity, I suppose.
I wish that we had a written constitution like the U.S.A. which could be fought for in the courts . Over here we have old judges interpreting what some 17th/18th century monarchs *MAY* have meant. Our politicians laugh when we mention our Bill of Rights . Both major parties say it is irrelevant now.
Her Majesty's government shows disrespect for rights of free press and free speech in its attempts to suppress The JET Report, a report about alleged child abuse which shows the investigating body in a bad light. The government has harassed the British Newspeople and even a citizen of Canada for having links to the report on a non-British site (as the above link is).
Now this is a USA site, beyond the reach of Her Majesty's government, but I'm still a British subject. Stay tuned ...
And here is another site embarassing to Her Majesty's government, revelations of names of MI6 (British Secret Service) officers around the world, and allegation of MI6 involvement in the death (actually murder) of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed. This information allegedly provided by former MI6 officer Richard Thomlinson. HM Government was concerned enough to get court orders shutting down sites like this in Switzerland and the UK. They even got one USA site to ban it. Let's see if they can stop this one.
There is no effective opposition to legisation such as the Police Bill (1997) which legalises bugging and wiretapping of peoples homes. The only "safeguard" is that such a bugging needs the permission of a senior police officer instead of a judge (at present), and is "only for serious crimes" (undefined !). Oh , and in "emergencies" (undefined) then the police can go ahead and seek retrospective permission later.
The UK, along with other European countries, is quietly proposing restrictions on cryptography . At first glance it might seem to be limited to the use of key escrow for key servers, trusted third parties and secure commercial applications. The definitions are, however, broad enough to catch anyone signing or authenticating a key. For more details on this and other government interference in free use of the internet, look at:
Campaign Against Censorship of the Internet in Britain
My own small effort to combat this trend consists of publishing the latest "ui" version of PGP under the GNU "copyleft" general license. With secure communications the truth cannot be suppressed.
The Unofficial International PGP Home Page
History would seem to show that those countries which descend into tyrrany and dictatorships first disarm their populations. The Firearms (Amendment) Bill (1997) is beginning to do this, starting with pistols. I predict that rifles and shotguns will be next as the anti-gun media whip up any incident out of all proportion.
The Sportsman's Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (SAGBNI)
and a mailing list called Cybershooters.
To subscribe to Cybershooters, send
subscribe cybershooters Your Name <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Here is a recent copy of CyberShooters' Digest
PGP-Encrypted E-mail welcome. Here is my PGP Key.
Steve Crompton <100645.1716@CompuServe.COM>
Her Majesty's Royal Web Site