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Terrorism and child pornography used to justify surveillance society

The authorities have taken "advantage of the terrorist bombing in London" to erode civil liberties, according to Professor Ian Walden, an expert on internet communication and online security.

He said today's "Orwellian" surveillance of our online habits was even more intrusive than the introduction of CCTV on Britain's streets.

"You can now hide cameras but generally cameras are a physical manifestation of surveillance. With the internet, you are sitting at home which you think is private, but of course it is declared a public space because your service provider knows everywhere you've gone, everything you've downloaded, it knows everything, potentially", he told The Daily Telegraph.

His comments come after the Government announced it was pressing ahead with privately held "Big Brother" databases that opposition leaders said amounted to "state-spying" and a form of "covert surveillance" on the public.

The police and security services are set to monitor every phone call, text message, email and website visit made by private citizens. The details are set to be stored for a year and will be available for monitoring by government bodies.

All telecoms companies and internet service providers will be required by law to keep a record of every customer's personal communications, showing who they have contacted, when and where, as well as the websites they have visited.

Ministers had originally wanted to store the information on a single government run database, but backed down after privacy concerns were raised.

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