•  The United Kingdom (UK) has a reputation as a surveillance state, and with good reason: London has one CCTV camera for every 14 residents.
  • The use of surveillance by the British state is nothing new. As a colonial power, the British Empire relied heavily on state surveillance for many centuries to bring occupied peoples under its control and pacify them. Today, surveillance is used in a racialised and classed way, to control certain populations within the UK
  • There has been a legal framework in the UK since 2016 that gives police officers and intelligence officials the right to hack into computers, servers, networks or mobile devices, to download the data from mobile phones or use keyboard logging software that monitors every letter you type.
  • Police are using terror legislation to carry out a ‘digital strip search’ of political organisers at UK borders. Police are using data extraction and cloud extraction technology to investigate seized devices. These technologies can retrieve data from third party server services. Private contractors working for UK police are also advertising that they can hack into secure messaging services such as Telegram.
  • There is currently no law restricting the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) in the UK and therefore the technology has been deployed in crowded public streets by British police forces and a London council.
  • The British Police are aware that Live Facial Recognition is inaccurate when identifying People of Colour, but this dangerously flawed technology is still being used.
  • UK police forces have massively increased their use of drone technology during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Drones are now used routinely to monitor political protest.
  • IMSI catchers are used to intercept mobile phone data of demonstrators in the UK. At least nine UK police forces are equipped with IMSI catcher technology.