The British Government has been accused of contravening human rights with the anti-terrorist laws established in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks.
Amnesty International said the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act, passed in November 2001, breached fundamental human rights.
In a report published on Thursday, the charity attacks the power given to the home secretary to detain foreign nationals indefinitely, without charge or trial, if they are deemed to be a risk to national security.
EARLIER NEWS: Britain 'leads way' in eroding privacy
Individual privacy is being eroded in Britain to a far greater extent than in other developed countries, according to an international study of state surveillance in the year since September 11.
Many states have rushed through restrictive anti-terrorism and security laws in response to last year’s terrorist attacks, but the Blair Government is singled out for an anti-privacy “pathology” that the report claims is leading to mass surveillance of the population.
In the 400-page report, to be published tomorrow, Privacy International, a London-based campaign group, and the US Electronic Privacy Information Center, give warning of a significant loss of personal freedom. The Privacy and Human Rights survey notes that in many of the 53 countries studied, communications surveillance has grown, intrusive “personal profiling” of individuals has increased, and data protection laws have been watered down.
“In the rush to strengthen national security and to reduce the risk of future terrorist acts, governments around the world turned to legal authority and new technology to extend control over individuals,” the report states. “Many of these proposals have had far-reaching consequences for the protection of privacy.”