To call this draconian would be an understatement:
The proposals will give police and security services the power to snoop on every single communication made by the public with the data then likely to be stored in an enormous national database.
The precise content of calls and other communications would not be accessible but even text messages and visits to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter would be tracked.
The move has alarmed civil liberty campaigners, and the country’s data protection watchdog last night warned the proposals would be “unacceptable”.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, will argue the powers are needed to target terrorists and serious criminals who are taking advantage of the increasing complex nature of communications to plot atrocities and crimes.
A consultation document on the plans, known in Whitehall as the Interception Modernisation Programme, is likely to put great emphasis on the threat facing Britain and warn the alternative to the powers would be a massive expansion of surveillance.
Hat tip: Tammy Bruce