Spy centre will track you on holiday 4

David Leppard writes in the Sunday Times:

The government is building a secret database to track and hold the international travel records of all 60m Britons.

The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details for all 250m passenger movements in and out of the UK each year.

The computerised pattern of every individual’s travel history will be stored for up to 10 years, the Home Office admits.

The government says the new database, to be housed in an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, near Manchester, is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism. However, opposition MPs, privacy campaigners and some government officials fear it is a significant step towards a total surveillance society.

The BBC also carries a similar story, which has attracted an extended “Have your say” comment thread.

4 thoughts on “Spy centre will track you on holiday

  • Caesar

    I wonder how the government will spin this one? Fight against terrorism/homebred extremism? Border/Immigration security? Tackling serious organised gang crimes? Other nations have similar systems?

    We’ve heard it all before, and each time it equates to using a nuclear bomb to squat a fly.

  • Stop Hitting Me Officer

    ‘ … to be housed in an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, near Manchester … ‘

    Conjures up wonderful visions of a battalion or two of Civil Serf-Ants hunched over a million card-index Rolodex. Extra staff for the “B” (Benidorm) and the “F” (Florida) and the “A” (Afghanistan) and “P” (Pakistan, cross-reference “T” for Training Camp). Tea-trolley twice a day with cake on Fridays. Security, of course, will be an octogenarian chap wearing a cloth-cap and with a hut by the gate near a blazing brazier and a steaming teapot.

    The British media will, naturally, be making a note in their diary to check that once the database is set up this terrorism nonsense is ended once and for all …

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