Shock Horror!! Former MI5 Head States Obvious!

A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

Dame Stella Rimington, 73, said people in Britain felt as if they were living “under a police state” because of the fear being spread by ministers.

Well, it’s nothing that anybody didn’t know already, but it’s nice to see it stated by somebody who’ll get in all the media. Quite apart excess “security” here there and everywhere, we’re seeing outbreaks of extreme silliness. It’s seemingly becoming quite routine for Police to stop people taking pictures in public places[1], claiming that they have “concerns” under that singularly dubious piece of legislation known as the Terrorism Act[2]. Apparently, if you’re taking pictures of (say) the Houses of Parliament, you’re probably possibly gathering intelligence for a terrorist attack. This is, of course, ludicrous. Quite apart from the idea that if somebody was up to no good, they’d probably take their pictures covertly, rather than with a honking big DSLR, there’s the little matter of thousands of images of all those “iconic locations”[3] widely available. On the internet even…

BBC NEWS | UK | Ministers ‘using fear of terror’

[1] An entirely, unambiguously legal activity, which I’ve been known to participate in myself
[2] Not to be confused with the former Prevention of Terrorism Act
[3] A term apparently used in the newer, even stupider, terrorism legislation, which apparently makes it an offence to point a camera anywhere near a police officer (See this report and indeed this one)