In 1949, British writer George Orwell published his novel that foretold a society held hostage by the ever-watchful gaze of Big Brother. The writer's vision of 1984 was a world of "perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public mind control".

If there is one book worth re-reading this month - it is this one - it might tell you more than the news media has on the story we have been covering this week: the story of the British government's intelligence and security committee and their report on mass surveillance by British intelligence agencies.

The ISC's report concludes that the surveillance carried out by the agencies fell within the legal framework and was necessary to uncover threats posed by terrorists and cybercrime. This is not going to surprise anyone: the authors were appointed by the government.

Strangely, they have been criticised for lack of oversight - given they only found out what the agencies were up to after Edward Snowden leaked the information. There are some who think that the state is protecting their citizens from terrorism. Civil liberties groups disagree.

Talking us through the story are: Carly Nyst, the legal director of Privacy International, Eerke Boiten, a senior lecturer at the University of Kent; Ryan Gallagher, a journalist at the US-based The Intercept; and Andrew Griffin from the UK's Independent newspaper.

Source: Al Jazeera