Surveillance of protesters ruled illegal

Police surveillance of a peaceful protester was ruled unlawful today in a decison that lawyers say will change the way demonstrations and protests are policed.
Judges ruled that specialist ­surveillance units from the Metropolitan police had breached the human rights of Andrew Wood, an arms trade campaigner, when they photographed him and stored the pictures on a police database.
One judge said there were ­unresolved civil liberties questions about the way images were taken and retained in "the modern surveillance society". Lord ­Justice Dyson said there were "very serious human rights issues which arise when the state obtains and retains the images of persons who have committed no offence and are not suspected of having ­committed any offence".
The judgment is a blow to the Met, which has been criticised over the way it polices protests since last month's G20 ­demonstrations and the death of Ian Tomlinson.
Tonight, human rights lawyers said the ruling could force police to delete thousands of images of protesters stored on their database unless they have grounds for suspecting them of criminal activity.

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