http://www.libdemvoice.org/tom-brake-mp ... 28332.htmlTom Brake MP writes… A landmark achievement in fight for our civil liberties
By Tom Brake MP | 1st May 2012 - 4:13 pmToday the Protection of Freedoms Bill became an Act: a landmark for the campaign to roll back Labour’s surveillance state. Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for this piece of legislation, proposing a “Freedom Bill” more than five years ago when Nick Clegg was the party’s Home Affairs Spokesman.
The Act will protect millions of people from unwarranted state intrusion in their private lives, building on some of the things we’ve already achieved like the ending of ID cards and the destruction of the National Identity Register.
I just want to highlight a couple of things that will now happen. Firstly, we will end the storage of DNA of people who are innocent by reforming the DNA database along the lines of the Scottish model. There were 6m people on the DNA database in the UK – nearly 10% of the population. This Act does the right thing by removing the data of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. In future, the DNA of people arrested and charged but not convicted of a minor offence will no longer be kept and a three-year limit will be put in place for the storage of the DNA of people charged, but not convicted, of a serious offence.
* Tom Brake is Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington and Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities Parliamentary Policy Committee.