Britain's Draconian Surveillance Laws Called "Disproportionately Dangerous" by New Amnesty International Report

By James O Malley on at

The Investigatory Powers Act, which legalised the bulk surveillance of everyone's internet activity "threatens to have devastating consequences for privacy and other human rights in the UK and beyond", according to Amnesty International.

The damning verdict on Britain's surveillance state comes as part of the human rights group's new "Disproportionately Dangerous" report, which looks at the Europe-wide trend towards more draconian laws that threaten our rights - like the IP Act, which is also known as the Snooper's Charter.

After describing the powers that the law enables, Amnesty concludes that "Such provisions, lacking any requirement for individualized, reasonable suspicion, are contrary to human rights law. Even the allegedly targeted 'thematic' warrants are so broad that they will undermine privacy rights well beyond what human rights law allows."

Yikes. Britain's laws in a number of other areas, such as freedom of expression and its somewhat slippery informal emergency laws also come in for a kicking in the report.

Still, if Britain becomes too much of a dystopian nightmare we can always move elsewhere, right? Well, actually - it's pretty bleak everywhere in Europe according to the report's executive summary, which says:

"The last two years, however, have witnessed a profound shift in paradigm across Europe: a move from the
view that it is the role of governments to provide security so that people can enjoy their rights, to the view that governments must restrict people’s rights in order to provide security. The result has been an insidious redrawing of the boundaries between the powers of the state and the rights of individuals."

Read More: The Snowden Movie Illustrates Why I'm So Pessimistic About The Future

You can read the full report here.