The IT infrastructure of a national security state

Ross Anderson, Ian Brown and colleagues have just released their report on the Database State (available as a pdf from here). They surveyed the central databases that hold information on every aspect of our lives, from health and education to welfare, law–enforcement and tax. Their conclusion (in a nutshell) is that:

All of these systems had a rationale and purpose. But this report shows how, in too many cases, the public are neither served nor protected by the increasingly complex and intrusive holdings of
personal information invading every aspect of our lives.

Ross had a brisk exchange with Michael Wills (a classic New Labour apparatchik) on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.