Both acts have to be at least reworked to tighten the conditions under which they can be used. The Terrorism Act, if it cannot be repealed, should have a time limit and also be used on occasions of absolute public emergency. We are not permanently in a state of emergency.

There should not just be vague "guidelines"  – they should be written into the Acts. Local governments, the police and other public bodies have demostrated they can't be trusted to interpret the law correctly unless all rules and exceptions are spelled out.

If these acts are not repealed, then they should be amended, in Parliament, to ensure they cannot be used by state agencies to snoop on innocent individuals' private correspondence, so that the councils cannot use them to spy on their own employees or to check up on parents in school catchment areas etc. The police must not be allowed, by law, to use the Terrorism Act to break up peaceful demonstrators, record participants' details or threaten them, or to prevent amateur or professional photographers taking photos in public places.

Why is this idea important?

The current use of RIP and the Terrorism Act breaches human rights. It criminalises and persecutes innocent people for engaging in legitimate behaviour, such as public photography and peaceful assembly.

It allows public bodies to snoop on employees, denying them right to privacy, to snoop on and illegitimately oppsess normal citizens for purposes which have nothing to do with prevention of terrorism. Essentially it strips UK citizens of rights and freedoms that this country pioneered and should protect. I believe their permanent erosion to be a far greater threat to this country and its society in the long term than terrorism, which is only a short-term threat. A "threat of terrorism" should never be used to suppress civil liberties.

For why it is important  – see Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia and other dictatorships where the overblown threat of "enemies of the state" has been used to persecute ordinary citizens for the sake of enforcing public fear of the state and for the sake of annual police and "state security" performance targets. We must get the UK off this dangerous road before it's too late.

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