This anonymous office building on a business park near Heathrow Airport is where the Government has begun monitoring millions of British holidaymakers using its controversial new ‘terrorist detector’ database.
The top-secret computer system – tied into the airlines’ ticketing network – makes judgments about travel habits and passengers’ friends and family to decide if they are a security risk.
Like something from a science-fiction film, the Home Office has designed it to spot a ‘criminal’ or terrorist before they have done anything wrong.
The building’s address is, some might say sinisterly, called Status Park 4.
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But the intrusiveness of the system at the heart of Government’s so-called ‘e-Borders’ scheme has provoked such fury among civil liberties campaigners that some consider it akin to a modern-day Stasi headquarters.
All the information passengers give to travel agents, including home addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, passport details and the names of family members, is shared with an unknown number of Government agencies for ‘analysis’ and stored for up to ten years.
But even as the ‘profiling’ system goes live, its reliability is being called into question.
An internal Home Office document obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveals that during testing one ‘potential suspect’ turned out to be an airline passenger with a spinal injury flying into Britain with his nurse.