The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is facing growing dissent over plans elaborated by the government to build a gigantic, Orwellian, database that can keep a record of every phone calls, emails and internet sessions carried out in the UK.
According to Timesonline and The Independent, a group of Home office officials have started to lobby against the plans which, according to a leaked memo, they consider to be “impractical, disproportionate, politically unattractive and possibly unlawful from a human rights perspective”.
This put those who dissent at odds with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the official earpiece of the Government, who wants to push forward for an all-encompassing surveillance system.
The current government's track record when it comes to data handling is far from being exemplary which has led some to say that, following the recent spate of data losses by public bodies, there is an inherent fear that data might fall in the wrong hands.
In addition, many question whether it is wise to spend public money on such a project at a time of financial turmoil; experts put the price of building such a database at over £12 billion.
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