Lib Dems vow to halt 'snooping'

Liberals Democrats have vowed to kills government plans to allow all calls, emails, texts and website visits to be monitored. David Cameron has insisted the scheme should plud "significant gaps" in UK security.

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PM: 'We must plug the gaps in national security'

by - UK Editor

The Prime Minister has just given a strong defence of the plans for 'secret courts' and more internet surveillance.

His main point was that as Prime Minister his responsibility was to keep the country safe and therefore plug significant gaps in national security.

David Cameron talked about the issue of 'secret courts' at a news conference today.
David Cameron talked about the issue of 'secret courts' at a news conference today.

There was a little nod to Nick Clegg's concerns with Mr Cameron, saying he would listen to concerns, and protect civil liberties.

But this was the Prime Minister in essence saying it's his job to take the tough decisions and he will do all he can to protect people.

So it's the Prime Minister's strong law and order message against Mr Clegg's civil liberties one.

PM: Coalition to plug the gap in defences

David Cameron insisted there were "significant gaps" in UK security as he defended Government plans to allow all calls, emails, texts and website visits to be monitored.

The Prime Minister said his job was to do "everything that is necessary" to keep the country safe.

Mr Cameron said the coalition would "respect" civil liberties but wanted to "plug the gap" in defences.

'Still far from clear if surveillance plans will make public safer'

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: "It's welcome that ministers are now addressing the real concerns people have about being spied upon but a whole range of questions remain unanswered.

"We are still discussing proposals for a huge amount of additional monitoring, so the Deputy Prime Minister's assurances of a full and detailed review are extremely welcome.

"It's still far from clear if this scheme is technically possible or if it will make the public any safer."

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Clarke: Safeguards will be in place

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke Credit: Reuters

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "The proposal is that so far as internet and things are concerned (there will be) the same safeguards which we have lived with for telephones for some time.

"I used to join all these criticisms but the reason we are revising all this is we are trying to get the balance right."

Accessing 'core data' necessary for policing effectively

Mick Creedon, who runs Derbyshire Police, said controversial proposals debated this week were about ensuring existing powers used "all the time" by police investigations were preserved as technology improved.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "The point is the world of policing, investigating serious crime and terrorism, and actually protecting vulnerable people, depends to a certain extent on accessing some things like core data. The safeguards in place are two fold."

Lib Dem MPs write letter over surveillance plan concerns

Sixteen Liberal Democrat MPs have sent a letter to The Guardian, in which they have outlined their concerns over the government's proposed changes to surveillance laws

Following worrying reports of possible government proposals to collect real time information on people's activity online, including from social media sites, we are pleased to hear the deputy prime minister making clear his commitment to civil liberties and protecting privacy, and confirming that the Government will publish draft legislation with sufficient time for consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny."

The MPs who signed the letter are: Julian Huppert, Annette Brooke, Malcolm Bruce, Mike Crockart, Andrew George, Mike Hancock, John Leech, Greg Mulholland, John Pugh, Alan Reid, Adrian Sanders, Ian Swales, David Ward, Mark Williams, Roger Williams.

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