UK Government Wants Postal Surveillance Power

On BoingBoing, Cory points out a bit of legislative overhaul looking to sneak through whilst the British public is otherwise engaged with the Digital Economy Bill fiasco. As he explains, this legislation would replace the current system where suspicious packages can be flagged and only opened after notifying the addressee with a process that would eliminate any requirement for notice or opportunity for appeal.

As the Guardian piece he links to explains, the purpose for the change is to allow customs to better deal with tobacco smuggling. You know, because broad grants of new powers for narrow purposes are never abused beyond that original remit. Worse, a source quoted in the article points to a history of such new powers only ever being expanded, a troubling ratcheting that in this case fuels the broader trend towards increasing surveillance in the UK.

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