The UK has become a snooper's paradise since the Labour government came to power.
According to The Guardian, the interception of phone calls, email and post by police and the intelligence services has more than doubled since Tony Blair was elected.
The research, commissioned by civil liberties group Statewatch, shows that the total number of communications surveillance warrants issued in England, Wales and Scotland has risen from 1,370 in 1996 to 3,427 in 2001.
The previous peak year was 1940, when 1,682 warrants were issued.
Tony Bunyan, editor of Statewatch, told The Guardian: "The official figures are a travesty.
"The new method of issuing warrants and changes to them is said to make life easier for officials, but at the same time it hides from public view the true extent of surveillance."
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