Will you soon need a passport to buy a mobile phone?

The Government plans to increase its surveillance powers by introducing a law that will force mobile phone owners to register their identity on a national database. Furthermore, all prospective mobile phone buyers will need to present a passport if they wish to buy a new mobile phone.


The office of Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, told the Times Online website that it anticipated a compulsory mobile phone register would be unveiled as part of a law to be announced by ministers next year.


'With regards to the database that would contain details of all mobile users, including pay-as-you-go, we would expect that this information would be included in the database proposed in the draft Communications Data Bill,' a spokesperson said.


The plans have not gone without criticism or action. Opponents inside Whitehall have claimed that the so-called 'big brother database' is 'impractical' and 'disproportionate and potentially unlawful'. The force of the comments has led to the government delaying the database announcement until next year.


Read the Times Online story

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