Alex Massie

Status: Enraged but Unsurprised

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OK, this is from the Sunday Times so the usual weekend caveats apply. But a) this story does seem to be confirmed by official sources and b) it turns out it isn't actually April 1st:

Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance.

Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society.

A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime.

Although the Tories will doubtless give them a run for their money it is hard to imagine how any government could actually be more enraging than the present shower. Mr Worstall has some good, old-fashioned suggestions for what the government should do next. And no, despite what the government says, none of this is actually for your own good.

PS: How long before some government flunky tries to make the (absurd) case that "Well, if we just had Identity Cards we wouldn't need to consider plans such as these"?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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