Conspiracy-theorists, privacy campaigners and anti-establishment loons have got a new, legitimate, grumble about online privacy.

It's been revealed that the government's Central Office of Information (COI) is going to be monitoring blogs.

The COI is apparently creating a "blog monitoring utility" that will track new blog entires and forward them to relevant departments with the government.

The utility is said to be used for "hot" issues regarding government policy and is hoped that it will give the government an early warning service on issues important to the public.

The tool is being developed by the COI's Media Monitoring Unit and will use software created by internet intelligence company 23 Ltd.

The tool will automatically monitor the internet for blogs attracting a large amount of debate and flags those with enough posts. The flagged items will be looked at by analysts who will turn them into briefings.

Reports suggest that around 100 blogs will be monitored initially.