Britain's gone snoopy crazy, and we're not talking about cartoon beagles
The debate over whether we Brits are living in an over-governed snoop state is a thorny and complex one. On one side you have people who say that our civil liberties and freedoms are being eroded every day as we are constantly spied upon in all manner of different ways. On the other side are the naïve idiots.
The former group have been proved a little bit more right after it was revealed that council, police and other organisations made more than half a million requests for confidential communications data last year, an average of 1,400 every day.
The requests were made under the terrorist-busting Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and give the authorities the power to have a shufty at confidential communications data, including lists of phone numbers dialled and e-mail addresses to which messages have been sent.
Unhelpfully, Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “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.
He added: “It beggars belief that it is necessary to spy on one in every 78 adults.” Sadly, Huhne is completely failing to understand that some people will have had multiple requests made about them but never mind.
So, if you want to communicate with someone confidentially, you can forget the phone and the email – your best bet is to meet up with them in a public place and speak in code. Oh, and do it in fancy dress – after all, the CCTV cameras will be watching you.