Warning of increased chatter in government circles…Government response to Paris terrorism is to resurrect the Snooper’s Charter

Posted: 11 January, 2015 in Internet Snooping
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Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Houses of Parliament Ed Miliband told the Andrew Marr Show he would not support new emergency legislation if it was modelled on the snooper’s charter. He said he would adopt a cautious and considered approach in answer to calls for increased surveillance powers for the intelligence agencies.Miliband was speaking after Lord West of Spithead, the former security minister in Gordon Brown’s government, called for a revival of the data communications bill, known as the snooper’s charter.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, declined to offer support for the bill, proposed by the home secretary, Theresa May, that would give the police and security services the ability to track the email and internet use of UK citizens.

West told the same programme that it would be wrong to rush in legislation. But he criticised Clegg for forcing the government to abandon the data communications bill. He said:

Normally we stop plots because we get a heads up because we know people are talking to each other. That is why that intercept is so important. Most of the plots we have stopped in this country because of that initially indicator. If they are talking then it is really difficult to do anything about it.

Responding to calls to revive the communications data bill, aka the Snoopers Charter, Emma Carr, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said:

Big Brother Watch logo It is wholly unacceptable for this tragedy in Paris to be used as a means to call for a return of the Snoopers Charter. It is the wrong solution and would divert resources from focused surveillance operations at a time when the agencies are already struggling to cope with the volume of information available.

The Government is introducing legislation to solve the important problem of who is using a specific Internet Protocol address, but the powers within the Snoopers Charter go too far, as recognised by a number of Political figures and two Parliamentary committees.

Instead, the government should focus on the number of failures to continue monitoring those suspected of posing a threat. Those failures should be used as a blueprint to re-evaluate the decision making and record keeping processes of the intelligence agencies, as well as the training and resources allocated within the counter terrorism community.

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