GCHQ Snooping Powers - A History Of The Big Brother State

02/04/2012 09:04 | Updated 01 June 2012
  • HuffPost UK Staff The Huffington Post UK

The news that ministers want to give the government's main listening centre GCHQ greater powers to intercept our phone calls and emails has caused a furore, with civil liberties campaigners seeing it as a "spies charter".

Some Tory MPs are annoyed at what they see as the kind of Big-Brother style encroachment that David Cameron had pledged to row back from when he stood for election.

And others look at the coalition agreement signed by Cameron and Clegg, which pledged to stop the surveillance state from increasing.

Ever since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington just over a decade ago, the government has been attempting to introduce greater powers for the police and intelligence agencies, and the backlash has damaged prime ministers and trust in the police. Here is a history:

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