A Big Hello to all my readers at Kennet Council, the big building in Cheltenham and at the local exchange...
Britain is in danger of becoming a "surveillance state" as authorities including councils launch bugging operations against 1,000 people a day.
Councils, police and intelligence services are tapping and intercepting the phone calls, emails and letters of hundreds of thousands of people every year, an official report said.
Those being bugged include people suspected of illegal fly-tipping as councils use little known powers to carry out increasingly sophisticated surveillance to catch offenders.
In that period 122 local authorities sought to obtain people's private communications in more than 1,600 cases.
...in the last nine months of 2006, there were 253,557 applications to intercept private communications under surveillance laws. It is understood that most were approved.
A total of 653 state bodies — including 474 councils — have the power to intercept private communications.
These include the Financial Services Authority, the Ambulance Service and local fire authorities and prison governors.
Last night Mrs E complained our phone had been making strange "tinging" noises, and my mobile is also making strange noises at the end of calls, but then it is spring and like all farmers I'm ringing round to find the best price on Ammonium Nitrate.....