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By Kim Zetter
a UK privacy group, and the U.S.-based Electronic Privacy Information
Center have put together a world map of surveillance societies, rating
various nations for their civil liberties records.
Both the U.S. and the UK are colored black for “endemic
surveillance,” as are Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, China and
Among the trends that the two organizations have tracked:
* The 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy
protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and
a declining performance on privacy safeguards.
* Concern over immigration and border control dominated the world
agenda in 2007. Countries have moved swiftly to implement database,
identity and fingerprinting systems, often without regard to the
privacy implications for their own citizens
* The 2007 rankings show an increasing trend amongst governments to
archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of
all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion
that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion.
* The privacy trends have been fueled by the emergence of a
profitable surveillance industry dominated by global IT companies and
the creation of numerous international treaties that frequently operate
outside judicial or democratic processes.
* Despite political shifts in the US Congress, surveillance
initiatives in the US continue to expand, affecting visitors and
* Surveillance initiatives initiated by Brussels have caused a
substantial decline in privacy across Europe, eroding protections even
in those countries that have shown a traditionally high regard for
* The privacy performance of older democracies in Europe is
generally failing, while the performance of newer democracies is
becoming generally stronger.
* The lowest ranking countries in the survey continue to be
Malaysia, Russia and China. The highest-ranking countries in 2007 are
Greece, Romania and Canada.
* The 2006 leader, Germany, slipped significantly in the 2007
rankings, dropping from 1st to 7th place behind Portugal and Slovenia.
* In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US
is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. In terms of
overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly,
being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the
“black” category, denoting endemic surveillance.
* The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again
fell into the “black” category along with Russia and Singapore. However
for the first time Scotland has been given its own ranking score and
performed significantly better than England & Wales.
* Argentina scored higher than 18 of the 27 EU countries.
* Australia ranks higher than Slovakia but lower than South Africa and New Zealand.
For Generations the UK has stood up for freedom, fighting against the evils of the Stazi in East Germany, Communist control in Russia and China and mass surveillance of its peoples.
The NuLab government of Gordon Brown has ensured that we in the UK are now part of that same Authoritarian world.
If you are sick of being spied on by your own government, being told what to do, what to eat and drink, being told what you can and cannot think, The Libertarian option is open to each and every one of you.
Visit the Libertarian Party website to see how you can help to reverse this immoral trend of mass surveillance and overwhelming Statism.