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‘surveillance State’ Claim Over Requests To Spy On Public

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‘Surveillance state’ claim over requests to spy on public

Fears have been raised about the scale of the UK's "surveillance state" after it was revealed 1500 requests were made every day last year to snoop on the public.

Councils, police and the intelligence services asked 504,073 times - that's 10,000 every week - for approval to access private e-mail and phone data, official figures released yesterday show.

All the requests, including 1500 from local councils, were approved. Each one allows public authorities access to communications data - which includes records of phone, e-mail and text messages - but not their content.

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman, said the figures "beggared belief", and questioned whether so many operations were necessary.

He said: "Many of these operations carried out by the police and security services are necessary, but the sheer numbers are daunting.

"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. The Government forgets that George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, and not a blueprint."

The figures were in the annual report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy.

The total requests is up more than 40% on two years ago, but slightly down on last year. Over the last three years, 1.2m requests were made - the equivalent of one for every 31 adults in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said the powers should be used only when they are "proportionate".

Each one of these invasions into your privacy must cost at least a few thousand squids. Wouldn't you rather see your taxes going into health care, education, or urban renewal?

Paranoid, lazy, spiteful, mean spirited, and cowardly Britain. Same as it ever was.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite
Each one of these invasions into your privacy must cost at least a few thousand squids. Wouldn't you rather see your taxes going into health care, education, or urban renewal?

Paranoid, lazy, spiteful, mean spirited, and cowardly Britain. Same as it ever was.

Only Lib-Dems oppose this.

Edited by D-503

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