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Published on October 6th, 2011 | by Luca Gastaldi
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="©Mike_fleming"][/caption] The Protection of Freedoms Bill, aimed at curbing the intrusiveness of legislation approved under the last Labour government, will be discussed in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Ministers claim that this bill, which has reached report stage, will protect people “from unwarranted state intrusion in their private lives”. The bill will change regulation strongly opposed by civil liberty groups on issues such as DNA database, detention without charge and CCTV cameras. At present, DNA can be kept on record by police indefinitely, even when the person arrested is not found guilty or charged. Under the new scheme, DNA records of those arrested or charged for a minor offence would be discarded; the maximum period of detention without charge for suspected terrorists will be brought down from 28 to 14 days. Most experts agree that the UK leads the world in its use of CCTV - you can see BBC data on surveillance cameras in the UK here - and the government has promised to introduce tighter regulation. If the bill becomes law, the Home Secretary will draft a code of conduct on using CCTV and other surveillance cameras, and a Surveillance Camera Commissioner will be appointed to monitor the efficacy of the measure. In an attempt to make law-making more transparent, the Protection of Freedoms Bill was the first to go through a “public reading stage” in March. Members of the public were given the chance to read the bill online and post comments on the government website, in a pilot scheme that aims at increasing public involvement in the legislative process.

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Protection of Freedoms Bill to be discussed next week

©Mike_fleming

The Protection of Freedoms Bill, aimed at curbing the intrusiveness of legislation approved under the last Labour government, will be discussed in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Ministers claim that this bill, which has reached report stage, will protect people “from unwarranted state intrusion in their private lives”.

The bill will change regulation strongly opposed by civil liberty groups on issues such as DNA database, detention without charge and CCTV cameras. At present, DNA can be kept on record by police indefinitely, even when the person arrested is not found guilty or charged. Under the new scheme, DNA records of those arrested or charged for a minor offence would be discarded; the maximum period of detention without charge for suspected terrorists will be brought down from 28 to 14 days.

Most experts agree that the UK leads the world in its use of CCTV – you can see BBC data on surveillance cameras in the UK here – and the government has promised to introduce tighter regulation. If the bill becomes law, the Home Secretary will draft a code of conduct on using CCTV and other surveillance cameras, and a Surveillance Camera Commissioner will be appointed to monitor the efficacy of the measure.

In an attempt to make law-making more transparent, the Protection of Freedoms Bill was the first to go through a “public reading stage” in March. Members of the public were given the chance to read the bill online and post comments on the government website, in a pilot scheme that aims at increasing public involvement in the legislative process.

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