UK becoming a ''surveillance state''

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London, Jan 29 (UNI) Britain is in danger of becoming a ''surveillance state'' as authorities are tapping and intercepting the phone calls, emails and letters of around 1000 people a day, an official report said.

A total of 653 state bodies, including councils, police and intelligence services are able to intercept personal calls and emails.

The report, by Sir Paul Kennedy, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, has fuelled fears that Britain is becoming a state where private communications are routinely monitored.

It was found that in some cases, the phones of innocent people were tapped simply because of administrative errors.

David Winnick, a Labour member of the Commons home affairs committee, said greater legal protection was needed to prevent abuse of surveillance powers, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Britain has more CCTV cameras per person than any other country in the world, he added.

Referring to George Orwell's vision of a ''surveillance state'', Mr Winnick said, ''To walk blindfolded into 1984 is not anything that anybody in their right mind would want.'' UNI XC SKB RS1945

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