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Watch Intelligence Squared online: Episode 20 The threat to our civil liberties from an overmighty state has been much exaggerated

n the name of combating terrorism, keeping public order and often just plain old efficiency, the modern state is slowly but surely depriving us of our fundamental freedoms. That's the common lament of self-styled lovers of liberty. But is there any truth to it? Since 1997 we've had the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act and many other pieces of legislation designed to strengthen our civil liberties. Isnt there a case for saying our freedoms are more secure than they've ever been?

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