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Big Brother Watch [Paperback]

Alexander Deane
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Oct 2010
A short book of essays on Big Brother Britain and the state of freedom in our society. The debate about our DNA database, the largest per capita in the world, has dominated headlines throughout the last few years. Britain has more CCTV cameras than any other country in the world, and even more are being installed including in private homes, facing out into the street. With the Intercept Modernisation Programme, the current government plans to record details of every telephone call made and e-mail sent by people in the United Kingdom. A database of households, is set to be compiled for health and safety reasons, is planned by the NHS. The Independent Safeguarding Authority continues to plan a compulsory register of all those who regularly come into contact with children perhaps a third of adults in the country. Stop-and-Search powers under the Terrorism Act are argued about as photographers are arrested for taking photographs of public buildings. Data chips in our bins monitor our domestic waste. Despite a temporary retreat on their compulsory status, identity cards (and, more importantly, the database behind them) remain with us. What is the future for civil liberties in modern Britain? Big Brother Watch brings together a collection of essays by experts in fields affected by the increasingly authoritarian nature of British culture in a country so illiberal it s almost as if normal life is becoming unlawful.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback (16 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849540446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849540445
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 629,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Deane is a Barrister. He read English Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge and took a Masters degree in International Relations as a Rotary Scholar at Griffith University. He is a World Universities Debating Champion.

He is a regular writer for ConservativeHome, OnlineOpinion and Human Events. Alex also serves on the Advisory Board of Privacy International.

He was David Cameron's first chief of staff and has also worked for the Liberal Party in Australia.

Product Description

About the Author

Alex Deane is the Director of Big Brother Watch, a campaign from the founders of the TaxPayers' Alliance, fighting intrusions on privacy and protecting liberties. A barrister and journalist, he was formerly David Cameron s chief of staff.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Before I read this book I was aware that our civil rights had been infringed over recent years by the rise in CCTV, speed cameras and so on. But like most people, I assumed that the people who were warning about increases in Government surveilance must be slightly unhinged, or perhaps had read one too many Ian Fleming novels. Surely we need a children's database if it helps vulnerable kids? And what exactly is wrong with having your DNA on a database if you haven't committed any crime? We live in a free society, don't we?

This book illuminates the murky depths that state interference has reached, as well as providing robust arguments against it. The short chapters by a host of contributors on a range of subjects from the aformentioned databases to powers of entry and the internet make it easily accessable, and perfect to dip into. You will certainly want to again and again, and if you're anything like me will be boring friends and family with facts such as: the power of entry for the state granted by the Bees Act 1980 was used 3,190 times in England in 2006; and: travel companies must hand over 42 pieces of information, or for unaccompanied children, 58 pieces of information, to the state every time a person (including you!) travels across our border.

A must read for anyone who values liberty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening 1 Mar 2011
By Mark
This is an eye-opening book, providing a rich and thought-provoking examination of the state of civil liberties in Britain. This well written book, with contributions from a variety of thinkers across the political spectrum, provides a deep analysis of how central government, companies, local councils, courts and other agents actively put our privacy and liberty at risk. Well worth a read if you are interested in an intellectual analysis of the state of freedom in Britain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating Expose on the Surveillance State 30 Mar 2011
The state of civil liberties in modern Britain is an excellent insight into the recent demise of British civil liberties under the helm of New Labour. With 27 varied, short essays there is an extensive and detailed look into every area of interest. The rise of the database state, CCTV proliferation, free speech, the EU's democratic deficit, draconian anti-terrorism legislation, internet freedom, equality legislation, the intrusive big state and many other issues are discussed by a wide range of respectable political figures.

This is an illuminating account on the current situation and how we have reached this depressing position. This extensive and organised account of the myriad assaults on our liberties will prove itself to be the first stop for anybody interested in our subtle, quiet decline of freedom and how to arrest it. Whilst the seemingly fluid nature of this decline is certainly worrisome, it is heartening that the reveille call is now firmly in motion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy it! 7 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the book cover to cover from my local library, I found it so quotable and useful to my dissertation that I had to buy it. A good selection of different sources writing on an issue which deserves greater public concern - that of civil liberties in the UK. At this price too, it definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf!
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