Revealed: 800 public bodies now have powers to ‘snoop’ on our phones and emails

Almost 800 public bodies have assumed powers to “snoop” on our phone records or private correspondence, it emerged yesterday.The “surveillance state” powers have been handed to prison bosses, the police, Environment Agency, NHS Trusts, fire chiefs, Post Office and 474 local councils.

Local authorities made 1,700 requests to access mobile phone records and other private information in the last nine months of 2006 – using them to catch “criminals” such as fly-tippers.

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