Friday, 21 November 2008

Big Brother is Watching You!

How do you assure that investigatory and surveillance powers are only used for the purposes intended when the powers were granted - and not for other, including trivial, purposes? This issue was addressed at a meeting of the Lord's Constitution Committee this week.

Vernon Coaker (Minister of State for Policing, Crime & Security) both addressed the committee and answered questions.

Other issues raised were the extent of the UK's national DNA database; and the number of people arrested but not charged or convicted, but who are now on the database - who were subsequently linked to serious crimes.

It was agreed by the Minister that the UK had the largest database relative to the size of its population. 5% of UK citizens are on that database - compared to only 0.5% of US citizens on their database.

The meeting can be viewed at -