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Little Brother is watching you

IN these secular times, it is improbable that the Bible is required reading for public servants. Data Protection Commissioners are unlikely to be an exception; perhaps if it were, the blushes of the present incumbent, Billy Hawkes, might have been spared.

The Good Book helpfully informs us: "For nothing is a secret that shall not be made manifest". . . (Luke Ch VIII V17)

Yesterday the commissioner had some explaining to do. It seems that the country's data protection body had gone to some pains to compile an impressive report on the growing intrusion of the State into the private lives of its citizens.

This is indeed worthy stuff in an age when we are bombarded with unsolicited texts and an avalanche of spam, and when personal details on credit ratings, and critical information on one's financial status, are passed around the world at the click of a mouse without an individual even knowing.

Pity then, that some technological delinquent saw fit to hack into the veritable Fort Knox of our information banks -- the Data Commissioner's very Office -- to release the information before Mr Hawkes' appointed hour of publication. Larceny on such a scale; stealing the very bark from the State's own most exalted watchdog, is enough to give Holmes and Watson indigestion.

If it is a fact that the private individual has now taken upon himself the task of keeping an eye on what the State is about, could this be a case of "Little Brother" is watching you?

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