Robert Verkaik
The Independent
October 21, 2008

Government plans to build a giant database holding information about every phone call, email and internet visit were last night dealt a major blow after the man in charge of prosecuting terrorism in England and Wales warned of the dangers posed by a “Big Brother” security state.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told ministers not to “break the back of freedom” by creating irreversible powers that could be misused to spy on individual citizens and so threaten Britain’s hard-won democracy.

Sir Ken’s intervention in the debate over the controversial new database is the latest and most serious among a growing number of senior public figures from across the political spectrum who have raised concerns about the potential misuse of information collected in the name of national security.

Last week, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the Government’s independent reviewer of terrorism laws, described the “raw idea” for handing over millions of pieces of private information to the state as “awful”.

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