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South Shields premier political blog

“We have sleepwalked into a surveillance state”

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Lib-Dem Chris Huhne warning.

“It cannot be a justified response to the problems we face in this country that the state is spying on half a million people a year.

“We have sleepwalked into a surveillance state but without adequate safeguards.”

Following revelations that local councils amongst many others have been responsible for over 1/2 million requests for confidential communications data. This is the equivalent of spying on one in 78 of all adults.

Last year a total of 504,073 such requests were made. The vast majority were made by the police and security services but 123 local councils made a total of 1,553 requests for communications data. Some councils sought lists of the telephone numbers that people had dialled.

An official report also disclosed that hundreds of errors (595) had been made in these “interception” operations, with the wrong phone numbers or emails being monitored.

Do you feel safer, happier, more secure now? Does it not bother you that some local councils want to know who are talking to, who you are emailing, when and how often?

I have been warning of these concerns for a few years now and the problem continues to escalate as the state and it’s organs creep ever more into the private recesses of your family life, the database state continues to grow and surveillance of our citizens begins to rival the ability of the former East German stasi state organisation. Unless politicians take a firm hold of this knotty thistle now, the apparatus will grow in size and complexity to the point where it will be almost impossible to disassemble, and civil rights, personal freedom, privacy, and free movement and assembly will be under massive threat from the state.

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Written by curly

August 10, 2009 at 11:10 am

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