Concerted and reactionary measures to expand the powers of law enforcers have commenced around the globe.
As war rages with ISIS, governments are struggling on every continent to suppress huge protest movements of popular dissent NOT being reported in the Mainstream Media.
Lets take a look at how they are responding to both ISIS and their domestic populations:
The U.K. government presented controversial counterterrorism draft legislation on Wednesday.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is part of increased efforts to combat the threat of attacks by Islamist extremists, in particular Islamic State, the militant group against which the U.S., U.K. and regional nations have carried out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. Western authorities have expressed increasing concern about the risk of attacks on their own soil linked to the group.
The draft legislation, which the government hopes to get on to the statute books before the U.K. general election in May, includes plans to block people from leaving the country who are suspected of planning to engage in terror-related activities, and greater powers over suspects’ movements in the U.K. and online surveillance.
One of the most controversial measures involves plans to introduce a “temporary exclusion order” to block Britons who are deemed to be a terror risk from coming back to the U.K. for two years unless they apply for and receive a permit issued by the home secretary, the U.K.’s interior minister.
During the period that the exclusion order is in force, any British passport held by the individual is invalid, the draft legislation said. It would be up to the home secretary to decide the terms of the permit to return, although a permit would be issued if the individual is to be deported back to Britain.
Another controversial proposal included in the draft legislation, is a requirement that Internet service providers retain records to help identify people using a particular phone or computer. The companies would be required to keep track of Internet protocol addresses, which identify Internet-connected computers by location.
In a short statement accompanying the draft legislation, Home Secretary Theresa May (Conservative Party) said the bill was, in her view, “compatible with human rights conventions.”
A draft law sent to the Turkish Parliament on Monday offers wider authority to law enforcement officials.
The draft, which has been approved by the socially conservative Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Cabinet and currently awaits parliamentary approval, will grant police sweeping new powers such as the authority to detain suspects in custody for 48 hours, whereas the current limit is 24 hours.
For gang-related crimes this detention period will have the possibility of being raised to four days with a directive from the prosecutor.
The draft, which has been said to resemble practices used during periods of military rule, proposes the decriminalization of chanting the slogans of outlawed organizations during protests and carrying banners and emblems of outlawed groups. If charged Turkish citizens could face prison sentences ranging from six months to three years.
Also according to the proposed draft, firearms, Molotov cocktails, improvised explosives and fireworks will all be classified as weapons of assault. Those who are involved in such actions and hide their faces with masks so as not to be identified will be charged with a sentence ranging from two years to six months to four years.
According to the draft, which offers a series of sweeping changes to the Law on Duties and Powers of the Police, governors and district governors will be able to instruct and command police and gendarmerie forces to investigate criminal activity, whereas currently only public prosecutors have this power.
The draft also proposes many practices that violate the right to privacy, one of which will be gathering information from car rental firms. Private vehicle rental firms will be required to hand over the personal information and travel destinations of their customers to law enforcement agencies.
Also rented cars will be fitted with GPS tracking systems in order to determine who the customers meet with and thereby collect information about their location. Those rental firms who allow customers to rent out cars using aliases will be charged a TL 2,000 fine.
Following the most prominent episode of domestic terrorism in Canada since 1970, officials have responded by advocating for the increase of ‘stronger’ anti-terrorism measures.
The incident involved a gunman who killed a Canadian soldier in Ottawa last month before shooting up Parliament. He was eventually gunned down, but the city was thrown into a state of panic, with the Prime Minister hiding momentarily inside a broom closet.
It didn’t take the Conservative government long to announce that new security measures are going to be introduced. These new provisions are supposed to bolster Canada’s security state by giving law enforcement and intelligence agencies more “tools” to do their jobs.
The Harper administration’s emphasis on extra surveillance will play itself out legislatively in the coming months, but it has already begun by introducing a bill to allow Canada’s spy agency, CSIS, to broaden its scope of operations.
The bill gives CSIS the opportunity to spy abroad or to tap other agencies to collect the data of Canadians abroad, and also proposes giving CSIS informants/sources more anonymity, something that will certainly affect the due process of law in Canada.
This bill is just the beginning of what is likely to be a wave of anti-terror legislation to be introduced in Canada during the coming months – And that doesn’t bode well for Canadians.
Egypt’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft anti-terrorism law that would give the government blanket power to ban groups on charges ranging from ‘harming national unity’ to ‘disrupting public order.’
Authorities have cracked down hard on Islamist, secular and liberal opposition alike since the army toppled elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year after mass unrest against his rule, dashing hopes for a more robust democracy stirred by the fall of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The government already has broad security powers and has been able to exercise them largely at will – jailing thousands of Mursi supporters and more recently many leading lights of the 2011 uprising – because of many Egyptians’ weariness with lawlessness that crippled the economy after Mubarak’s fall.
The draft legislation, however, would help enshrine the security crackdown in the criminal code by permitting authorities to classify groups as “terrorist” according to a long list of offenses – some of them non-violent.
“A terrorist entity is considered any organization… which practices or seeks in any way to disrupt public order or exposes society’s integrity, interests or security to harm,” the draft legislation reads.
Any group designated as terrorist would be dissolved, the draft stipulates. It also allows for the freezing of assets belonging to the designated group, its members and financiers.
The government is already able to seize Muslim Brotherhood assets based on a specific court order but the new legal draft would ease such action against other groups.
The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill was purposed in Australia late last month. The legislation would force telecommunication companies to retain users’ metadata for two years.
The proposal is the latest in a series of actions Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government is taking to ‘boost security’ after Australia, in September, raised its terrorism alert to the highest level in a decade.
While the bill forces telecommunication companies to retain just metadata, not the content of data sent – metadata does include the identity of the source and subscriber of the communication and the date and time it was sent.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the legislation could be used to target illegal downloading of movies and music, piracy and cyber crime.
Australia’s Senate also passed, in October, the so-called Foreign Fighters Bill aimed at stopping citizens from fighting with extremists in Iraq and Syria. Those laws will boost security agency powers, strengthen border security, cancel welfare payments for people involved in terrorism and allow a maximum 10-year prison term for Australians who have traveled to areas afflicted by terrorism without a valid reason.
The bill also criminalizes encouragement or promotion of terrorist acts, which has created concern that it may be used to prosecute journalists involved in whistleblowing or reporting on terrorism.
The laws “could see Australian journalists sent to jail for simply reporting how terror suspects have been recruited,” Green Party Senator Penny Wright said in a statement.
The Internal Security Act a draconian Malaysian law which was repealed in 2011, will be brought back under the guise of a new anti-terrorism law to fight ISIS.
Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, said Wednesday, that the new law and amendments to current laws such as Security Offences (Special Measures) 1992, and Prevention of Crime Act 2013 (POCA) are urgently needed to fight terrorism including the threat posed by Islamic State militants.
The Internal Security Act, originally enacted in 1960 allows for detention without trial of civilians and aliens without criminal charges under limited, legally defined circumstances.
In what was decried by political pundits from both sides of the isle, the Senate’s NSA reform bill failed to move forward last week by just two votes.
While the talismanic name of the bill, the USA FREEDOM ACT, may have fooled some – the illogical and revocable nature of the proposed legislation provided a clear case, I feel, of an attempt to thwart actual reform by proposing just the opposite and calling it reform.
While placing narrower limitations on government searches of Americans’ phone records, the bill simultaneously reauthorized three sections of the Patriot Act set to expire in 2015. The most important being Section 215, which grants the NSA its power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.
The USA Freedom act would have extended the authorization past its Summer 2015 deadline, but also would have slightly restricted it. The government would need “reasonable, articulable suspicion” to search through records, and would have to limit the area of their search.
Now, with the deadline of the Patriot Act fast approaching, privacy advocates face an uphill battle at reform in a Republican-controlled Congress next year.
Some argue that their best shot to curb the National Security Agency’s powers will be to kill core provisions of the USA Patriot Act altogether. But other reformers aren’t ready to eliminate it.
The debate over whether to let the Patriot Act provisions expire in June threatens to splinter the surveillance-reform coalition. If the tech industry, privacy groups, and reform-minded lawmakers can’t coalesce around a strategy soon, they may have little hope of reining in the American surveillance state.