The biggest difference between the Stasi in East Germany and the current situation in Britain,Us and others is that I don't THINK that neighbours are ratting on neighbours wholesale.
I could be wrong, does your neighbour wear a black three quarter length jacket even in the summer? Has has he always got a little note book and making notes while watching the locals?
Otherwise, not too much difference.
@Peter2; You don't think the security services could have been LYING do you?
They are after all, there to protect us from terrorists, aren't they?.