Plans have been unveiled by the government to store in a database the travel plans of anyone going on holiday from the UK. The records of all flight, holidays, ferry and rail journeys will be stored in a database for 10 years. Roughly 25 million trips are taken every year from the UK so the database will be huge.
The argument put forward by the government to justify the system is that it will help prevent crime, illegal immigration and terrorism but many including the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Chris Huhne don’t agree with the system.“We are sleepwalking into a surveillance state and should remember that George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, not a blueprint.” says Huhne.
The UK is already one of the most watched countries in Europe. CCTV cameras watch nearly our every move and various databases already exist with our details on including a DNA database, which is expanding rapidly and records of telephone calls and e-mails are on the way too.
We all have to ask ourselves how far we want to go in endangering our free society. Do we want to sacrifice that so that we can try to be 100% secure from terrorism or is there a risk that is worth taking so that we can remain a free society ?