To make journalism harder, slower, less secure » Pressthink

To make journalism harder, slower, less secure » Pressthink.

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How the state exceeds its powers

It would appear that The Terrorism Act 2007 is far more useful at giving additional powers to the state than in combating terror. The detention of David Miranda in a transit area without access to legal representation demonstrates that the state will use, stretch, abuse and probably on occasion break the law to achieve its operational objectives.

Whether Miranda was carrying stolen property seems to be beside the point, it does not appear that he is, was, or gave any indication that he was likely to be a terrorist threat, and it was ostensibly for the purpose of reducing terrorism that the legislation was introduced, not as a tool to combat theft. Given that such sweeping powers are useful to the police, it is almost certain to be the case that an argument will be advanced that retaining some of the elements of the current act will be desirable to combat terror even if there were to be an overhaul of the anti terror laws as Nick Pickles suggests in ConHome today. I’m not so sure that Theresa May will be opening up that issue in a hurry.