London Britain’s new deputy prime minister pledged on Wednesday to curb the country’s extensive system of official surveillance and data collection by scrapping an unpopular national identity card program, limiting the retention of DNA samples and regulating the spread of closed-circuit television cameras.
Nick Clegg said the coalition government was rolling back government monitoring after years of complaints from rights groups that personal freedoms have been sacrificed in the name of national security.
“This government will end the culture of spying on its citizens,” Clegg said during a speech in north London. “It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop.”
He also promised to allow the public a say on which of the ousted Labour government’s unpopular laws should be overturned, and to institute changes to the country’s political system — including the right to recall errant lawmakers.