British people are now
more spied upon by their political leaders than any other population
in the free world, according to an official report.
The linkage of databases
and surveillance systems mean people are now having their movements
tracked, habits profiled and photograph taken hundreds of times a day.
The findings, in a report compiled on behalf of Richard Thomas, the
information commissioner, raised concerns that Britain is "waking
up in a surveillance society."
Thomas said: "Many
of these schemes are public sector driven, and the individual has no
choice over whether or not to take part. People are being scrutinized
and having their lives tracked, and are not even aware of it.
"They don't know,
for instance, that a record is kept of every Internet site they visit.
They don't realize that when identity cards come in, there will be a
record of their movements and every time they have engaged with any
The report, compiled
by surveillance experts and academics, points out that a typical Britton
will be caught on camera up to 300 times a day. Britain now has 4.2m
public CCTV cameras, or one for every 14 people, more than any other
Other examples of surveillance
highlighted by the report include the growing use of automatic number
plate recognition to track people's journeys and the long-term retention
of logs detailing the websites people visit at home.
"It's not just unwarranted
intrusions into privacy, it's also the dangers of inaccurate information,
of mistakes being made, of information being held for too long."
-Times On Line, 20 October
Britain, a more privacy-conscious country than the United States, has raised its voice in protest, but opposition to surveillance will never prevail because security requires identity and the Mark of the Beast is the perfect identity system.