Britain has the most CCTV cameras in Europe, more than all the other European countries combined. The Government is pressing ahead with its plan to force every citizen to carry an ID card. They also want the right to lock us up for 42 days without trial.
As the Stasification of our country continues unabated, at least we can retire to the privacy of our own homes to escape the intrusion of the Big Brother state. Well, not for much longer. Details have been leaked of a proposed plan that will arguably be the most sinister and authoritarian piece of legislation in modern British history.
It has been revealed that ministers are considering spending £12 billion on a database that will store the Internet browsing habits and email and telephone records of every single person in the country.
The scheme is already underway with the Government’s main eavesdropping centre, GCHQ in Cheltenham, being given £1 billion to initially research the project.
The scheme is the brainchild of GCHQ director Sir David Pepper and it also has the support of MI6 chief Sir John Scarlett. The “official” reason behind the project is that it is intended to combat terrorism and crime, with the spy bosses claiming that the system is needed to capture communication between terrorists planning to attack Britain.
Pepper’s officials have in the past few weeks been aggressively marketing the idea in a round of meetings in White Hall. The project’s estimated cost, £12 billion, dwarfs that of the Government’s planned expenditure on ID cards of £5 billion.
The current system in the UK is that phone and Internet companies must give details of calls or web use to law enforcement agencies if a senior officer certifies that the information is needed for an investigation. 520,000 of these sorts of requests were made last year. When it comes to intercepting communication, a government minister’s approval is needed for the security services and a chief constable’s for the police.
The eventual aim of the new project, which is called the Interception Modernisation Programme, is to have thousands of secret black box probes installed in Britain’s computer and telephone system.
These probes, known as Deep Packet Inspection equipment, will steal the data, analyse and decode the information and then re-route it to the Government’s new database, effectively facilitating a “live tap” on every electronic communication in Britain.