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Monday, 12 January 2015

Lib Dems warn against the Snoopers’ Charter

Simon Hughes has warned that the so-called "Snoopers’ Charter" is a step too far and the Liberal Democrats will not agree to unnecessary and unjustified new surveillance powers. The coalition justice minister has called for future security measures to be targeted, proportionate and necessary - and not trample on civil liberties. His remarks come after David Cameron announced Tory plans to introduce the so-called Snoopers' Charter if the Conservatives were in Government after the General Election. 

David Cameron's comments came less than twenty four hours, after one of his possible successors for the Tory leadership, Boris Johnson went onto Skynews to say: "You have got to have a very tough security solution, to be absolutely determined to monitor these people, know where they are, know who they're talking to. I'm not particularly interested in this civil liberties stuff when it comes to these people's emails and mobile phone conversations. If they are a threat to our society then I want them properly listened to."

The Charter would require internet companies to keep a record of all websites visited by every single member of the public.

Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes said: "It is vital that the police and intelligence agencies are able to investigate and prosecute terrorists, including surveillance of communications. The Liberal Democrats have moved quickly in Government to plug the gaps in existing legislation to bolster these abilities. Future security measures must be proportionate, justified and necessary - and not trample on our civil liberties. The so-called Snoopers’ Charter, which would see the internet browsing of every single citizen stored for a year, fails these very reasonable precautions."

"The idea that you protect free speech by spying on every law-abiding person in this country is a contradiction in terms. You can’t have an open society if you are constantly worried that the state is prying into your daily life." Mr Hughes added.