THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have pledged to roll back the far-reaching surveillance powers introduced under the Conservative government, slamming them as an "Orwellian nightmare".
The Guardian reports that the Lib Dems, like INQ, ain't a fan of the Investigatory Powers Act (IP Act), and has described the bill, better known as the Snoopers' Charter, as a "full frontal assault" on civil liberties.
"It is [the] pre-internet equivalent of hiring a private investigator to follow every person in the UK and record their movements, on the grounds that it may be useful at some point in the next year," the party said in a statement.
It wants to do something about it, and the Lib Dem manifesto will, according to the report, include proposals to roll back state surveillance powers by ending the bulk collection of communications data and internet records, and the party will also fight the Tories' efforts to undermine encryption.
Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael said: "The IP Act has laid the ground for a full frontal assault on our privacy and civil liberties.
"The security services need to be able to keep people safe, but these powers are straight out of an Orwellian nightmare. They have no place in an open and democratic society, will cost billions of taxpayers' money and simply will not work.
"A Conservative landslide would give Theresa May a blank cheque to implement these draconian spying powers and Labour have shown they are incapable of opposing them. A strong Liberal Democrat opposition is crucial to challenge this government, stand up for people's civil liberties and change Britain's future."
News of the Lib Dems' stance comes just a week after leaked documents, obtained by the Open Rights Group, revealed the current governments plans to extend its already-extensive snooping powers.
The draft technical capability paper would require all communications firms to provide real-time access to security services and the police of the full content of anyone's web browsing with one working day's notice. They would also be obliged to hand over any 'secondary data' relating to that individual.
The measures won't necessarily be targeted either, as the plans include powers to provide real-time interception of communications traffic of up to 10,000 users users at a time.
The proposals also show that the government is planning to outlaw end-to-end encryption, mandating a 'back door' into any encryption product or service used in the UK, which could be unlocked by telecoms companies and internet service providers (ISPs) at any time on the request of the authorities. µ
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