Britain's Big Brother

The police state gains ground in the UK:

For its report the spy watchdog monitored 795 bodies, all of which were empowered to seek out communications data. These included MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, the signals intelligence centre in Cheltenham, as well as 52 police forces, 475 local authorities and 108 other organisations such as the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority. Between them they made 439,000 requests for communications information over the 15-month period.

The Home Office said that the total number of such requests, which includes information on e-mail addresses and lists of phone numbers, had not been published before. It was unable to say if this represented a huge increase in data collection.