Beat Big Brother: Dodge CCTV, phone taps and spies

Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not watching you. Surveillance is a boom industry in the UK, so here are some handy (and frankly bizarre) tips on how to avoid being spied on

Big Brother is watching you -- and we're not talking about the mind-numbing reality show. The UK has become a real-life Orwellian nightmare. There's reportedly a CCTV camera for every 14 people. Police helicopters circle our skies. Phones are tapped on a routine basis and your information is harvested by nefarious forces intent on stealing your identity.

Perhaps modern society isn't quite so dystopian, but we're not exaggerating by much. Thankfully there are ways to protect your anonymity. Over the next few pages we'll train you in the art of counter-intelligence. We'll show you how to use technology to protect yourself and give you the tools you need to get your privacy back. Failing that, we'll at least help you figure out if you're simply a paranoid schizophrenic.

How useful you might find these tips and gadgets depends on your attitude to surveillance, and let's face it, your mental health. Nevertheless, there is a burgeoning anti-spy market and the products out there range from real conspiracy-theorist stuff to genuinely sensible privacy precautions. We've included a handy Paranoia Rating -- out of five tinfoil hats -- to help you judge their usefulness and practicality. -Rory Reid

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