'Later today, the Commons home affairs select committee will announce it is to conduct an inquiry into the growth of surveillance in Britain. It is tempting to say this is not before time, but it is probably too late if the aim is to have any influence over policy.
We are already a "surveillance society". We are, for the time being, fortunate that the full potential for its abuse is constrained by the pluralist democracy in which we live. However, we do not have to look back very far in history to imagine the use to which such snooping could be put.'