12 February 2009

Database of Brit's travel details on the cards

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The British government is considering creating a database to hold the travel details of all Britons travelling internationally.

According to BBC News, the database will be used to record the travel details of the 250 million journeys made out of the UK every year, so that the government can increase security against terrorism and illegal UK immigration.

The data would be held for up to 10 years, and will include store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details of travellers, as well as cover flights, ferries and rail journeys.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said this new approach to security is further encroaching on the privacy rights of British residents. 

"The justification is always about security or personal protection. But the truth is that we have a government that just can't be trusted over these highly sensitive issues. We must not allow ourselves to become a Big Brother society."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Chris Huhne said the government is creating a surveillance society comparative to George Orwell's 1984, which construed a society much like that of the television reality series Big Brother. 

The scheme is similar to schemes already working in Australia, Canada, Spain and the US.

Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, hopes the scheme would further help combat illegal movements between Britain's borders.

"Our hi-tech electronic borders system will allow us to count all passengers in and out of the UK and [it] targets those who aren't willing to play by our rules," he said.

"Already e-Borders has screened over 75 million passengers against immigration, customs and police watch-lists, leading to over 2,700 arrests for crimes such as murder, rape and assault."

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