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Clegg on snoopers charter: ‘Some bits of bill will be saved’

daily alternative | alternative news - Clegg on snoopers' charter: 'Some bits of bill will be saved'

Nick Clegg paved the way for the survival of elements of the snoopers’ charter today, after he said the government was “pursuing some parts” of the bill.

The deputy prime minister’s comments mark a significant tonal shift from his previous announcement that he would rule out the bill and suggests Theresa May could succeed in enshrining certain parts of it in law.

Clegg said he would not support elements of the bill which would store information about the websites internet users visit but that he supported efforts to link IP addresses to specific mobile devices.

“The issue of storing website addresses everyone visits is an issue of principle. It’s just excessive,” he told listeners to his weekly LBC programme.

“You need to strike the right balance. I think we’re doing that by saying we’ll solve this issue.

“The British public want us politicians to strike a very difficult balance of freedom, democracy and traditions of liberty and giving security services and police the tools they need.”

Pressure has been building for the snoopers’ charter to be revisited since the terror attack in Woolwich last week, with civil servants working on stripping down the original proposals so they can be passed without the need for a Commons vote.

The Liberal Democrats have long-supported the proposal on IP addresses, which featured in the Queen’s Speech.

But today’s change of tone from the deputy prime minister suggests he is prepared to be more pragmatic about the package of policies than he was before the Woolwich murder.

Liberal Democrat sources told Politics.co.uk the party would still hold fast against the more draconian measures in the bill.

If the Home Office was hoping that Clegg had had a major conversion to its increasingly authoritarian approach to extremism, he will have disappointed them with his views on radical preachers, however.

The Liberal Democrat leader shot down plans by Theresa May to clamp down on extremist Muslims like Arjem Choudary appearing on television by allowing Ofcom to pre-emptively ban them from our screens.

“It’s not for politicians to tell broadcasters: ‘That person shall not be on’,” he said.

“I told [people who complained about Choudary’s appearances] ‘you should get in touch with the producers of these programmes and say Choudary doesn’t represent the vast majority of law abiding Muslims in the world.

“I’m an old fashioned liberal. I think abhorrent ideologies are best defeated when they are argued against, when they are demolished.”

 

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Law & Politics

Police Will Be Able To Read Everyone’s Internet Search History Under New Plan

UK Police are asking the government for new surveillance powers to be able to view the Internet search history of every single person in the country.

Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman told The Guardian that “We want to police by consent, and we want to ensure that privacy safeguards are in place. But we need to balance this with the needs of the vulnerable and the victims. We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when did it happened. And a little bit of the ‘what’, were they on Facebook, or a banking site, or an illegal child-abuse image-sharing website?”

“Five years ago, [a suspect] could have physically walked into a bank and carried out a transaction. We could have put a surveillance team on that but now, most of it is done online. We just want to know about the visit,” he added.

It is likely that police are already looking at your online activity, but just want the power to do it legally. As we learned from whistleblower Edward Snowden, governments are very interested what their citizens are doing online, and they do have the technology to spy on every telephone call and Internet communication.

Police in the UK have been attempting to reach for these powers through legislation for years, but they have been blocked on multiple occasions. This new effort proves that they will not be giving up on getting legal permission for their spying programs.

MP David Davis told The Guardian “It’s extraordinary they’re asking for this again, they are overreaching and there is no proven need to retain such data for a year.”

Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the specifics of the plan during a meeting about the Government’s new surveillance bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

“I’ve said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers and the oversight arrangements that govern them without also considering the threats that we face as a country,” May said.

“They include not just terrorism from overseas and home-grown in the UK, but also industrial, military and state espionage.They include not just organized criminality, but also the proliferation of once physical crimes online, such as child sexual exploitation. And the technological challenges that that brings. In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job,” she added.

 

daily alternative | alternative news -Police Will Be Able To Read Everyone’s Internet Search History Under New Plan

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