The latest outrageous plan by the Government to increase our database state is the Communications Data Bill - this proposes to record - for life - the details of everyone you call or write to and what websites you visit.
Photo: view of Ruscombe
This raises not just the prospect of a new, massively intrusive surveillance database, but - according to the Sunday Times - the possibility of compulsory registration of mobile phones. Negative media coverage has forced the Home Secretary to announce further 'consultation' on the Bill in the new year and a flat denial from the Home Office on mobile phone registration.
Monitoring your communications is in many ways more intrusive than searching your home. It should only ever be done under warrant with good reason. The general convenience of the Home Office is a very bad reason indeed.
As NO2ID ask: "Do you want the state (and anyone who can gain access to the system) to have a record of your religious and political beliefs, your sexual interests and relationships, your financial and medical worries - "just in case" they ever become of interest to the authorities? You wouldn't tolerate someone creeping into your home at any time, night and day, to go through your and your family's private things. You shouldn't put up with this."
See Open Democracy article here and NO2ID here - and make your thoughts known to our Government. This comes on top of news that the Home Secretary has brandished a new plastic card to be issued to some foreign residents from November - she is calling it an "ID card" for foreign nationals. This cynical branding exercise with its sly appeal to xenophobia should fool no-one.
As regular blog readers will know I have totally opposed the push for ID cards - indeed the Government have failed to convince industry and employers, the unions and the public at large that ID cards are necessary or desirable - now it seems they are picking on soft targets - anonymous individuals seeking marriage visas or education - those who have no choice but to keep quiet and comply. And if the statements of junior minister Meg Hiller at Labour Party conference are to be believed, they also intend to target children as young as 14.
Ministers try to give the impression that their National Identity Scheme is inevitable - It is most definiately not. All the opposition parties are committed to scrapping it and, without the National Identity Register (the database at the heart of the scheme) and with the repeal of the Identity Cards Act we can - and shall - go back to being a free country.
Locally Jeremy Hilton, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham was reported in the paper re his anger at the scheme - his wife Polly, a Chilean woman who has lived in Gloucester for over a decade will have to get a card - and indeed my Norwegian partner who has lived in Stroud well over 20 years looks set to also need a card as Norway is not part of the EU. What utter nonsense and waste of money...