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At a more domestic level, UK communications providers are worried that they could be exposed to legal action because of the unlawful mass surveillance that they were party to – even though on the whole they wanted no part of it.

Well, more precisely, many comms providers wanted no part of it unless the government picked up all the costs (older readers familiar with US law may recall the CALEA legislation that forced communications companies to make their technology wiretap friendly – with much the same response from companies).

There is a view that if the liability for unlawful surveillance rested entirely with the government, there would be no appetite for this legislation. Britain long ago elevated its institutional vandalism of EU legal rights from a science to an art, and then to a sport.

* Simon Davies, “ Britain takes the Uganda Road to legalise and extend state surveillance”