The URL alone is striking: yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk. The site is the brainchild of British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who says civil liberties will be a priority in the new coalition government.
The website launched in July with an invitation to British citizens to nominate laws and government programs for termination. It has three front-page categories: “Restoring civil liberties,” “Repealing unnecessary laws,” and “Cutting business and third sector regulations.” Users are speaking up for causes ranging from ending drug prohibition to permitting overnight stays in national parks.
The site’s mission: “We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations—both for individuals and businesses.” That statement seems to acknowledge that the state has already taken too much freedom away, a rare thing for a government to concede. The British public apparently agrees. Overwhelmed with traffic, the site crashed within hours of going live.—Radley Balko