The ins and outs of the Snoopers Charter

web snoopers charterYou may be forgiven for being confused over whether the Snoopers Charter (aka the Communications Data Bill)  is in or out.

Back in December Julian Huppert reported that the Joint Committee that was looking at the Bill had unanimously agreed that it would have to be significantly amended to be acceptable. In an article in the Independent he wrote: “We have gone through the Home Office proposals – and the results are damning. The Bill as it is simply cannot proceed. “

In April, Nick Clegg vetoed the Bill, and Julian Huppert greeted the announcement with much relief, having campaigned against it consistently since its inception. However, Jonathan Calder warned us to be vigilant.

The Bill was notable by its absence from the Queen’s Speech in May.

Then came the appalling murder in Woolwich, and it was not long before this was being presented by some as a reason for reviving the Snoopers Charter. Following that Daniel O’Malley argued on Lib Dem Voice that “We cannot give up the freedoms that our nation has held so dear and fought so hard for in the name of expedience.”

Over the last few days we have read in the Guardian the extraordinary news of the extent to which US National Security Agency had been extracting information from major online providers such as Google and Facebook about US and UK citizens, with, it claims, the explicit co-operation of GCHQ.

In spite of the public anger at those revelations, yesterday the Home Office confirmed that it still wanted to bring in enhanced Internet surveillance. Unnamed minsters are quoted as saying: “It does not change our position. The government is continuing to look at ways of addressing this issue with communication service providers. This may involve legislation.”

The fight is not over yet.

* Mary Reid is the Monday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

4 Comments

  • Richard Whelan 11th Jun '13 - 5:22pm

    I don’t know what you all think?

    I think as a party we need to have an open discussion on how we resolve the dilemma of protecting civil liberties at the same time as you maintain national security and come up with a practical liberal solution that can then be debated, firstly within the party, at say, one of our Federal Conferences next year, in the country at the next General Election, and finally, as part of negotiations to agree a future coalition if the next election results in a hung parliament.

    That is the only way I can see the party coming to a settled view on alternatives to secret courts and snoopers charters. If we oppose something, like the overwhelming majority of the party, myself included, do in this case, we don’t just need to oppose. We need to come up with practical alternatives as well.

  • “The fight is not over yet.” Really? The Snoopers Charter, it seems to me, lies somewhere between legal ‘window dressing’, and a technical, ‘rubber stamping’, of what is actually already happening. If I understand the implications of the last three days of revelations(?), then on both sides of the pond, Obama and Cameron can genuinely, and legitimately, stand up and say “Your government is NOT spying on you”
    What they fail to point out is that snooping on British (and European?), communications appears to have been out-sourced to the FSA (and thus cleverly maintains a legal arms length, from the British government). And who knows,.. perhaps Obama has a reciprocal (arms length), arrangement with GCHQ?
    So if this is anywhere near correct, and the ‘freedom and liberty’ horse has bolted, how will this ‘fight’ for our liberty, be undertaken?

  • Totally agree with Richard Whelan’s comment.

  • David White 14th Jun '13 - 2:57pm

    Oh dear, the usual pro-snooping bunch of failed NewLab ministers are supporting the equally useless OldCon mobsters in lusting for an official charter to give British spooks carte blanche to pry into everything about all of us. And who could those NewLab people be? Well, what a surprise! It’s Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, et al – the usual suspects.

    If nothing else could convince me that free access to my phone, emails, etc, is a bad idea, an unholy alliance ‘twixt OldCon and NewLab does the trick.

    Of course, there’s no use protesting. Well, we now know that all our spooks are getting all the info they want from their Yank counterparts without a new law to help ’em!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarNicholas Cunningham 26th Apr - 10:38am
    It's no wonder many who could contribute so much in our political system keep well out of politics. Character assassination has long been a tool...
  • User AvatarKeith Sharp 26th Apr - 10:37am
    To Richard F's point, I have now complained to the C4 News website and asked them to publish the complaint. Fat lot of good it...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 26th Apr - 10:23am
    Hear, hear. It is depressing to think that a Tory government will get in with a mandate to do so many other things (e.g. grammar...
  • User AvatarSadie Smith 26th Apr - 10:18am
    Excellent reminder. It was once the case that I could meet folk in West Bromwich who would remind me of our helpfulness to Trade Unions,...
  • User Avatarexpats 26th Apr - 9:59am
    David Raw 25th Apr '17 - 9:59am..............@ expats Careful, expats, he’ll be telling you to calm down and to stand as a paper candidate to...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 26th Apr - 9:47am
    The intro to this story contains this : Tom Hunter-Watts @TomHunterWatts @caronmlindsay @AylesburyLibDem @timfarron Labor at its nastiest. No better than how Zac Goldsmith treated...