Impractical, disproportionate, and potentially unlawful
That's what senior officials in the Home Office have said privately about Labour's latest "big brother" proposals.
Even as 42-day detention without charge hits the dust, the government continues to ignore advice and waste billions of pounds on more plans to keep tabs on us all, guilty and innocent alike.
The latest proposals include making a passport necessary to buy a mobile phone, storing the name and address of everyone who buys a mobile phone in a register, creating a huge database to monitor the internet usage, e-mail and telephone records of everyone in Britain, and linking the systems used by mobile phone networks to track where a phone is to the automated systems which track the whereabouts of calls via automatic number plate recognition.
Total costs for these projects might be as much as £12 billion of which £1 billion has already been approved for the pilot stage of the database.
A leaked memo said that officials looking at the implications of the proposals have called them "impractical, disproportionate, politically unattactive, and possibly unlawful from a human rights perspective."
Jack Wraith, of the data communications group of the Association of Chief Police officers, told the Sunday Times that he was worried about the implications if the data fell into the wrong hands. Describing the proposals as "mission creep" he said that
"If someone's got enough personal data on you and they don't afford it the right protection and that data falls into the wrong hands, then it becomes a threat to you."
Since in the past year the government has lost discs and data sticks with key personal data on every family in Britain and thousands of members of our armed forces, to give only two of the worst examples, this is hardly an unreasonable fear.