David Blunkett will today warn of the dangers of allowing an ‘oppressive’ and ‘eventually self-destructive’ Big Brother state to develop.
The former Home Secretary has concerns about plans for mass data sharing by public bodies and the Home Office’s proposal for a giant database holding records of every phone call and internet click.
In a speech today, Mr Blunkett will also suggest one solution to the identity cards row would be to make passports compulsory for everyone, with ID cards only being issued to those who want one.
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But Mr Blunkett, architect of the ID cards policy while at the Home Office, denies Britain is becoming a ‘surveillance state’.
He will say it is necessary to use the likes of CCTV cameras to carry out surveillance which – if it were possible to employ enough police to do the work in person – there would be few complaints about.
Mr Blunkett will tell the 21st annual law lecture at Essex University: ‘We need principles on which we can base actions which may otherwise, in the name of protecting freedom and decency, become oppressive, intolerant of difference and eventually selfdestructive.’