Former MI5 chief: Government exploits terror fears to restrict civil liberties
Stella Rimington attacks British and American leadership over surveillance and alleged torture techniques.
The former head of MI5 has accused ministers of exploiting fears over terrorism to restrict civil liberties, adding to mounting criticism of the government's record on human rights.
In an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Stella Rimington said state interference in people's privacy played into the hands of terrorists.
"It would be better that the government recognised that there are risks rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, [which is] precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state," she told La Vanguardia.(from The Guardian - read more)
Massachusetts may consider a mileage charge
By GLEN JOHNSON
BOSTON (AP) — A tentative plan to overhaul Massachusetts' transportation system by using GPS chips to charge motorists a quarter-cent for every mile behind the wheel has angered some drivers.
"It's outrageous, it's kind of Orwellian, Big Brotherish," said Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, who drafted legislation last week to prohibit the practice. "You'd need a whole new department of cronies just to keep track of it."
But a "Vehicle Miles Traveled" program like the one the governor may unveil this week has already been tested — with positive results — in Oregon.
Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island, as well as the federal government, also are talking about such programs. And in North Carolina, a panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.