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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Committee warn that internet snooping law could infringe privacy

The report of a joint committee of MPs and peers due to be published next week has underlined why so many Liberal Democrats are opposed to a new law that will enable the government to monitor and record internet traffic in the interests of national security.

Supporters of the scheme say that it is simply a matter of collecting details of an e-mail or a message and storing it. They say that the authorities will be able to see who is in contact with whom and when, but not the content of any communication. However, according to the Telegraph the committee will warn it may not always be possible to separate such details:

It is possible to examine basic information for phone calls, text messages and emails without accessing the content but the committee will say there are concerns when it comes to other web use such as messages on social media sites and blogs.

The report will warn it may not be possible to distinguish between who is in contact with who and the content of those messages.

In these circumstances the Liberal Democrats will have little choice but to send civil servants back to the drawing board.  The only way such a bill would get through would be if Labour were to revert to their illiberal ways and support it.


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