Big Brother is watchingThe Times online reports that UK Government ministers have agreed in principle to spend £12 billion to enable GCHQ to monitor every phone call , every email and all our browsing habits.

If true, this must be unprecedented in peace-time, and exceeds even the East German Stasi in its level of monitoring the population.  It’s an extremely worrying development, particularly given the draconian powers HMG have pushed through in recent years.  We are presently living in a State where merely reading material deemed inappropriate can result in prosecution.

What happened to the presumption that we are innocent until proven guilty?

We are already the most monitored population in the world: check out the Open Rights Group web page, and this in particular. It turns out the ORG have been aware of and discussed this business for some time.

This story makes the Phorm phiasco seem like child’s play, and perhaps explains why HMG and its quangos won’t do anything about it.

Related stories indicate ID cards will be rolled out from November;  and report on GCHQs proposals.  It is time we had a written constitution that protectsthe population from abuses of power. 

Edit: this move to data interception may be the UK part of European Directive 2006/24/EC