Writing in The Guardian today (27 February), Jack Straw sets out to refute the claim that the Government is establishing a police state. Linking the data sharing proposals to the post 9/11 world he says ” I do not pretend we’ve got everything right. We haven’t. Take the data-sharing measures in the coroners and justice bill. Their aim is good, but parliamentary scrutiny has thrown up justificable concerns that the powers could be misused. it’s not our intention but I agree, so we are acting to get a much better balance between data protection and access to services.”
This is good news, even if the connection between the post 9/11 world and access to services is not entirely clear, unless it is a perhaps unintended recognition that data shared for the purposes of transformational government could be used too easily for national security purposes.
On the latter issue, see “The National Security Strategy: Implications for the UK Intelligence Commumunity”, by Sir David Omand, and published by The Institute for Public Policy Research (available on their website).