Snooping has gone too far - Official
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas warns of surveillance culture - Times Online
Richard Thomas told The Times that “creeping surveillance” in the public and private sectors had gone “too far, too fast” and risked undermining democracy.
The Information Commissioner warned that proposals to allow widespread data sharing between Whitehall and the private sector were too far-reaching and that plans to create a giant database of every telephone call, e-mail and text message risked turning everyone into a suspect. “In the last 10 or 15 years a great deal of surveillance in public and private places has been extended without sufficient thought to the risks and consequences,” said Mr Thomas, 59. “Our society is based on liberty and democracy. I do not want to see excessive surveillance hardwired into British society.”
Of the Home Secretary's proposal to build a database to store information currently held by internet service providers and telephone companies, Mr Thomas said: “A government-run database of the communications of all citizens, every phone call, every e-mail, every text, every internet use; a database of all those activities held by the Government would be a step too far for the British way of life.”