Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Can You Disappear in Surveillance Britain?

Back in January last year, David Bond packed a rucksack, kissed his pregnant wife Katie and toddler Ivy, climbed into his Toyota Prius and drove away from home. Nobody knew where he was going – he didn’t even know himself. One thing he was sure about was this: “I’m going to leave my life behind and disappear,” he said.

A 38-year-old Oxford graduate with a solid if unspectacular career in media, Bond wasn’t your typical runaway. But then, you might have said the same about Will Smith in Enemy of the State, or Robert Donat in The 39 Steps – two of Bond’s favourite films. For Katie, left alone with a toddler, his disappearance could not have come at a worse time. “I had to juggle the childcare and work,” she says, “and I was seven and a half months pregnant.”

Bond might never have thought of running away if he’d not received a letter, some months earlier, informing him that his daughter was among 25 million Britons whose records had been lost by the Child Benefit Office, along with bank details and other private information.



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