At the general election David Cameron promised to roll back the centralist nanny sate that labour created over their 13 years of misrule.Instead last week he unveiled a set of proposals for snooping on not just your emails, social media accounts and your website browsing- but also your mobile phoning as well.
An extension of snooping that is currently outlawed by even the eurocrats.
When the Labour government mooted a similar idea the greater controversy hinged on the giant database it planned to create.
It may be proposed this time is that GCHQ has access to the data centres that ISPs already use.
ISPs are already required to keep data logs for 12 months under a 2009 EU directive.
Extending this responsibility to firms such as Facebook would not be a huge change or particularly onerous because it keeps everything anyway.
Facebook has declined to comment on current government proposals, saying it would rather wait until there was more detail of exactly what it wants to do.
But it has made no secret a security feature launched last year which allows all Facebook communications to be carried over a secure connection known as HTTPS, which could render government snooping plans useless.
The tool basically encrypts data. Currently it is an option that people have to sign up to but the firm hopes eventually to make it default.
However the biggest stumbling block is likely to be the cost.
When labour considered greater surveillance powers the Home Office estimated it would cost around £2 billion.
Even without a huge data centre costs are likely to run into millions, and in such cash-strapped times it may mean the idea is put to bed for another few years.
2010’s annual report from the UK’s interception of communications commissioner, published last June, revealed that the UK’s police, intelligence agencies and other public authorities submitted 552,550 requests for information about users’ data over the year.
Furthermore it noted that requests had risen by a rate of about 5% year-on-year since 2008.
Two thirds of the queries related to information about subscribers, which could be used to identify who owned a particular mobile phone.
But officials could also ask for a user’s incoming and outgoing call data, web activity logs and the contents of emails, faxes and web pages visited if the information was deemed to be in the interests of national security.
If ISPs do not already store the information, they can be forced to secretly fit surveillance equipment in specific cases.
A new law could extend officials’ reach further, but users should be under no illusion that much of their data use is already potentially available to prying eyes.