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New mass surveillance database and 1984 action day - more...

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UK and Iran agree on CCTV and Human Rights - 12/11/2008

It seems that the UK government's view of CCTV with regards to privacy/human rights issues the same as that of the government of Iran.

A debate has been taking place in Iran over the use of surveillance cameras. One national security official, Kazem Jalali, warned that the program may violate privacy rights and that any use of the technology must be within existing privacy guidelines. This week, the Iranian Parliament's National Security Commission has declared that CCTV in Iran will not violate privacy rights.

In a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) earlier this year Gordon Brown said: "let us not pretend that CCTV is intrinsically the enemy of liberty. Used correctly, with the right and proper safeguards [..] it actually helps give them back their liberty, the liberty to go about their everyday lives with reassurance".

Meanwhile Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "The use of advanced and rightful techniques in dealing with offenders should be employed by the (NAJA)[Iran's Law Enforcement Agency] forces". NAJA chief Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi-Moqaddam is reported to have said that he would use surveillance cameras only to monitor crime and not to spy on citizens.

Last December the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution expressing deep concern at the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the same time, last December, Privacy International categorised the UK as an "endemic surveillance society" in their 2007 International Privacy Ranking.

The UK as a supposed liberal Western democracy with a system of Common Law should be setting an example to other countries not vying with them for the top position in human rights abuses league tables.


Posted in Anti-CCTV general - 12/11/2008

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