Recent legislation is cause for concern in the UK (1st quartile), which is a leader in the Europe-wide trend of adopting overbroad counterterror legislation that threatens expression. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act poses a threat to freedom of conscience, thought, and religion, as well as freedom of expression online.
In December, counterterror legislation was used to crush peaceful demonstrations: the ‘Stansted 15’, protesters trying to prevent the deportation of illegal asylum seekers, were tried under counterterror legislation.
The European Court of Human Rights also ruled that the UK government’s mass interception and surveillance programme is a violation of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
The UK police started to use facial-recognition technologies at protests – a violation of privacy and anonymity. The authorities were also found to be illegally carrying out surveillance against CSO Privacy International.
 ARTICLE 19, UK: Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill Could Criminalise Expression and Opinions, 9 October 2019, available at https://www.article19.org/blog/resources/uk-counter-terrorism-and-border-security-bill-could-criminalise-expression-and-opinions/
 ARTICLE 19, UK: Terror-Related Legislation Should Not be Used to Sanction Protests, 12 December 2018, available at https://www.article19.org/resources/uk-terror-related-legislation-should-not-be-used-to-sanction-protests/
 Privacy International, UK Mass Interception Law Violates Human Rights – But the Fight Against Mass Surveillance Continues, 13 September 2018, available at https://privacyinternational.org/feature/2267/uk-mass-interception-law-violates-human-rights-fight-against-mass-surveillance
 Liberty, Why You Should Get Your Face Painted If You’re Marching Against Trump, 11 July 2018, available at https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/news/blog/why-you-should-get-your-face-painted-if-youre-marching-against-trump
 Privacy International, Press Release: UK Intelligence Agency Admits Unlawfully Spying on Privacy International, 25 September 2018, available at https://privacyinternational.org/press-release/2283/press-release-uk-intelligence-agency-admits-unlawfully-spying-privacy