Shadow Home Secretary David Davis warned of the increasing use of information technology to aid the "slow but ceaseless encroachment of the state into our daily lives" as he quit his parliamentary seat yesterday.
He said, "We will have the most intrusive identity card system in the world a CCTV camera for every 14 citizens and a DNA database bigger than that of any dictatorship, with thousands of innocent children and a million innocent citizens on it."
Davis said the government was building "a database state, opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers and exposing our personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers".
"This cannot go on. It must be stopped. And for that reason, today I feel that it is incumbent upon me to take a stand."
His shock move came as the House of Commons passed a controversial bill to allow police to detain suspects for 42 days without charge.
In a statement today he said, "This Sunday is the anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the document that guarantees the most fundamental of British freedoms, habeas corpus, (which is) the right not to be imprisoned for prolonged periods by the state without being told the charge against you."
Davis intends to use the by-election for his seat to raise questions about what he sees as the increasing use of technology to erode personal freedoms, as well as "a sustained assault" on the justice system "that (has) left it both less firm and less fair".