There is a growing backlash against the proposals to let the security services monitor every email, phone call and website visit by politicians from both coalition parties.
Chief among the Conservative rebels was Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who suggested
the proposals were hypocritical given the Prime Minister's previous stance against the control state .
In a 2009 speech Cameron said: Faced with any problem, any crisis, given any excuse, Labour grasp for more information, pulling more
and more people into the clutches of state data capture.
Rees-Mogg said: The Government ought to remember why it favoured liberty in opposition. The powers it creates may in future be used by less benevolent administrations.
David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said the plan was
an unnecessary extension of the ability of the State to snoop on people. What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals. It's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access.
Senior Liberal Democrats are
also planning to rebel. They want the Government to clarify whether the legislation will allow GCHQ to access information on demand and without a warrant. The party passed a motion at its spring conference banning communication interception
without named, specific and time-limited warrants.
Tim Farron, the President of the Liberal Democrats, wrote on Twitter: We didn't scrap ID cards to back creeping surveillance by other means. State mustn't be able to trace citizens at
Big Brother Clegg tries the angle that there is no central database
See article from telegraph.co.uk
While there will be no database, providers will be required to record all
activities of their customers so they can be accessed if needed.
Nick Clegg said he was against the idea of a central database and the government reading people's e-mails at will. He claimed: I'm totally opposed as a Liberal Democrat and as
someone who believes in people's privacy and civil liberties.
But in fact if the proposal is a rehash of what the police etc wanted under Labour, then they wanted the ISP's to provide access to their local databases so that the police could
actually use it like a central database (albeit a little bit slower on database searches).
Clegg also claimed that the government will not ram legislation through Parliament . He said the proposals would be published in draft first
to allow them to be debated.
Meanwhile Theresa May has been suggesting that the capability is primarily for tracking down terrorists and paedophiles. But of course that has always been the stated case, and it has never stopped the capability to be
used for trivial snooping eg to help councils investigate all sorts of low level nonsense.
LibDems have been fed some blather trying to get them on the government track
An internal Liberal Democrat briefing on Home Office plans to massively expand government surveillance was today passed to Privacy
International. The document contains significant evasions and distortions about the proposed Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), and is clearly intended to persuade unconvinced Lib Dem MPs to vote in favour of the proposal.
...Read the full article
See also Letter to MP by Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum
The very reason I loathe Labour with a passion is because of the obsessive control-freakery they displayed during
their years in power. With their being voted out, it seemed we were rid of these big brother tendencies. Now it appears some in government have been infected by much the same virus.
Kindly tell the Home Secretary where to stick her proposals for yet greater surveillance of communications.
...Read the full Letter to MP
Update: Big Brother Cameron Sticks the
Boot in to Big Brother Clegg
11th April 2012. See article from telegraph.co.uk
The Prime Minister said that Nick Clegg was made fully aware during a meeting of the National Security Council of Home Office plans for
police powers to monitor internet communications.
In a put-down to his Coalition partners, Cameron said it was important to remember that some of the most senior Liberal Democrats in government waived through the proposals before they were
The Deputy Prime Minister hit back, saying he had made clear in the meeting that he would stop the laws unless civil liberties were protected.
Conservative ministers insist the new laws will simply widen the current
scope of powers --- police and intelligence agencies are already allowed to monitor telephone calls, letters and emails. They dispute the idea that monitoring voice calls and other communications over the internet amounts to snooping.
Lib Dems have expressed outrage that the changes will allow the police greater power to track online communications, such as on Facebook and Skype.