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Snooping bill is a myth, says Clegg

Keep calm and carry on emailing
Wed Apr 04 2012, 10:51

THE LEADER of the Liberal Democrats part of the UK coalition Government has told everyone to calm down about the proposed internet snooping bill, saying that it is only a draft and just an idea.

In an interview with the BBC Clegg said that the bill, which has the backing of the Home Office and Home Secretary Theresa May is only "in draft" and suggested that before it becomes anything worth worrying about it will be slowed down in delay, debate and discussions with stakeholders.

"There's been a lot of scaremongering, a lot of myths about in the media over the last couple of days," he said.

"Any measures will be proportionate. They will not sacrifice people's civil liberties, we will not create a new government database and we will not give police new powers to look into people's emails. Let's be clear, we aren't simply going to ram some legislation through Parliament."

This suggests a lengthy delay as it will give internet service providers and web firms a chance to talk about their role in a system that will require a lot of storage, not to mention shredding civil liberties in the UK.

However, unless things have changed at the Home Office the Government plan is to get the proposals approved as soon as possible.

"We will legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows to ensure that the use of communications data is compatible with the Government's approach to civil liberties," the Home Office said two days ago.

"It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public. We need to take action to maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes."

We would ask Clegg why, if the bill is really only a draft and merely an idea, the proposals are expected to be announced during the Queen's Speech. µ


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