Smiley’s People: How the British became the most spied-upon people in Western Europe


Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Timothy Garton Ash

Research Area: Government; Media, telecommunications, and information

Keywords: Britain; Civil Liberty; Privacy

Type: Brief

Coverage: Great Britain


Across the Western world, vast amounts of personal information are held on individuals by states and private companies; ancient liberties are curbed, people are detained without trial, free speech has been stifled. Among the very worst offenders, the most careless with its citizens’ liberties, the most profligate in surveillance, is the British state.