Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Former DPP predicts information 'hellhouse'

In his most scathing attack yet on the proposed communications superdatabase, former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald has told the Guardian that government assurances on security would prove worthless and warned that a ‘hellhouse’ of personal private information would be created. The cost to the taxpayer could be as high as £12bn, twice the cost of the national ID card scheme.

In a consultation paper to be published next month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will outline plans to invite the private sector to manage and run the database that will keep track of everyone’s phone calls, emails, texts and internet use. The paper follows on from Ms Smith’s October announcement to postpone the database legislation to allow her to set out proposals for the protection of civil liberties

Mr Macdonald told the Guardian: "The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people."

You can read the full story here.

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