The government is compiling a database to track and store the domestic travel records of millions of Britons.
Computerised records of all 250 million journeys made by individuals within the UK each year will be kept for up to 10 years.
The government says the database is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.
But opposition MPs and privacy campaigners fear it is a significant step towards a surveillance society.
The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, car licence plate numbers, train tickets, hitchhiking signs and credit card details of travellers.
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: “The government seems to be building databases to track more and more of our lives.
“The justification is always about security or personal protection. But the truth is that we have a government that just can't be trusted over these highly sensitive issues. We must not allow ourselves to become a Big Brother society.”
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “This is another example of an intrusive database without any public debate about safeguards on its use.
“We are sleepwalking into a surveillance state and should remember that George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a blueprint.”
A spokesman for campaign group NO2ID said: “When your travel plans, who you are travelling with, where you are going to and when are being recorded you have to ask yourself just how free is this country?”
The 'Nightwatch' scheme covers cars, flights, ferries, bicycle, taxi, ambulance and rail journeys and the Home Office says similar schemes run in other countries including North and South Korea, China, Iraq, Cuba and the historical Nazi Germany.
Minister of State for borders and immigration Phil Woolas said the government was determined to ensure the UK's homeland remained one of the most watched in the world.
“Our hi-tech electronic travel system will allow us to count and record all movements of UK citizens and [it] targets everyone,” he said.
Answering concerns about the security of the database he went on to say, “The government has learnt from previous mistakes and we can categorically state that there will be no new data losses. Nor will there be any abuse of the RIPA rules to allow local councils to spy on their citizens”.
He concluded, “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear citizen. Beware the terrorist and the illegal immigrant for they spread heresy”.
The original, and just as scary, article is Here. If you look at the number of people that the actual scheme has caught it's 0.0036% of all travellers scanned. Is that cost effective when it comes to (a) money and (b) the damage to civil liberties?