Storm in Britain over Big Brother's database

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London, Oct 15 : The British government's effort to push ahead with a counter-terrorism plan has sparked an outcry, as the government's terrorism watchdog expressed alarm over the measure to create a "Big Brother" giant database to keep a tab on the activities of Britons.

Counter-terrorism measures for a "Big Brother" giant database were first announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February under the 'Intercept Modernisation Programme'.

The government's terrorism watchdog has condemned the plan to create a giant database holding information about every phone call, email and internet visit made in the UK, The Independent reported.

"As a raw idea it is awful," said Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the independent reviewer of anti-terrorist laws.

He described the government's recent track record on handling public data as an "unhappy one", and said that searches of a new database should only be carried out with the authority of a court warrant.

The controversial move has caused alarm among liberals who alleged that it would give the state unprecedented access into the lives of its citizens.

Richard Thomas, the British Information Commissioner, warned the plan was "a step too far for the British way of life".

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said it will have a massive impact on the citizens privacy but will do nothing to make them safer.

"This is another example of the Government's obsession with gathering as much information on each of us as possible in case it might prove useful in the future. Like the discredited ID card scheme this will have a massive impact on our privacy but will do nothing to make us safer," he said.

ANI

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