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Focus on Europe

Europe's squares - Trafalgar Square

No other European country keeps as close a watch on its citizens as the UK. For years, the government has been broadening its powers of surveillance in the name of security. In other nations, its laws would long since have been considered breaches of privacy. Now opposition has also been growing in Britain.

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Nowadays, British intelligence services have access to citizens' communications data, whether telephone calls, emails, Facebook messages or other forms of communication. Where video surveillance on the streets is concerned, surveillance has a long tradition here. Since 1926, an unassuming structure that was once billed as the world's smallest police station has stood at the corner of London's Trafalgar Square - a traditional rallying point for demonstrators. For a time in the twentieth century, it even had a direct phone line to Scotland Yard.