Modern life requires telecommunications. In some countries, telephones outnumber people, while lower ratios (as in Asia where there is one telephone to about 33 people) indicate, when seen as the equivalent of one phone to ten families, that the rest of the world is catching up. The integration of home telecommunications in developed countries to include interactive telephone-television-computer capability, which offers shopping and banking services, points to the inevitability of consumer home interaction with local and national government. At first this will be through the electronic banking capability of paying taxes, but since tax information must also be supplied, the possibility exists of answering government questions beyond those related to taxes: examples might be referendums, censuses and surveys. Inevitably, the home telecommunication capability will need a legal requirement, at which point privacy will have been invaded to the extent of state control over individual life. The black box and big screen in everyone's living room may become a watcher, time-clock and mind-checker, monitoring both personal behaviour and private thoughts.