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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Surveillance 'is a threat to UK'
Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg said everyone had 'blemishes' in their past
The UK is in danger of becoming a "surveillance society ruled by the technology and the politics of fear", the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said the government saw "no limits" to the use of technology for spying on people.

The party's annual conference in Brighton voted to repeal the ID Cards Act and for the destruction of DNA samples taken from "innocent" people.

It also called for "appropriate regulation" of CCTV cameras.

'No limits'

Delegates voted for people to have the right to "see any information held on them by public and private sector bodies and correct any errors they find".

Mr Clegg said: "I believe we are on the edge of a new surveillance society ruled by the technology and the politics of fear."

He added that the government saw "no limits," adding that they were so "carried away by what is possible they have stopped asking themselves what is desirable".

Only the Liberal Democrats were challenging ministers on issues such as collecting DNA from people not charged with or convicted of an offence - including schoolchildren

The party also opposed the spread of CCTV and ID cards, he added.

Mr Clegg said the Data Protection Act was "10 years out of date" and the Lib Dems wanted new protection for individual freedom in a digital age.

Delegates voted for "privacy impact statements" to go with all new parliamentary bills and for the government to "guarantee that any information it shares with other countries will be held in accordance with the law in the United Kingdom".

The Conservative Party have also said they would scrap the identity card scheme if they got into power.

Labour ministers say ID cards are needed to help control immigration and to combat identity fraud and other forms of crime.


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