The British government is to exempt its FBI-style central police force, the National Crime Agency (NCA), from answering all inquiries into its operations, adding another link to the chain of new legislations that raise the specter of a de facto police state over Britain.
The Home Office is already pushing for new legislation that allows security forces, including the NCA officers, unrestricted access to individuals’ phone calls, emails and other internet communications.
Approval of a “cloak of secrecy” for the new agency, which will be formed under the recently-published Police and Crime Bill, will virtually give officers the free rein to poke their nose into every private aspect of the British life without being held to account.
Indeed, the government departments seem to be working together to create a police state.
Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs that it is “right” to exempt the NCA from answering to Freedom of Information inquiries given “the nature of many of the cases that it will deal with and some of the information behind those cases.”
That is exactly the argument presented by the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke in his defense of his “closed trials” proposals.
The “closed trials” plan, dubbed the “secret justice”, allow the security services to present evidence during hearings behind closed doors without giving the other party or their legal representative access to that evidence.
Legal, media and political commentators, including Reprieve legal charity and Liberty human rights group, have condemned the proposal as a means to prevent embarrassing leaks of intelligence, including prisoners’ torture in other countries.
The move to give the NCA a blanket exemption from Freedom of Information inquiries raises fears of similar embarrassments being suppressed, but this time inside Britain, effectively making the country a police state.