A new report by Demos on the proposed expansions to the government's power to access our emails and online correspondence, has said there needs to be an "ethical" way by which the government can use online information.
Sir David Omand, co-author of the report said:
I don't know anyone who would say that you should ring-fence social media and say 'that's a secret space where paedophiles, criminals and terrorists can happily play because you can't get at it'
– Sir David Omand
But that this had to be balanced with an " open" internet that promotes the "free exchange of ideas", and that was good for the UK economy and in the public interest. He said the new plans must be based on:
on respect for human rights and the associated principles of accountability, proportionality and necessity".
The government's new 'snooping powers' to be proposed in the Queen's speech need to be legally justified, according to a former Whitehall intelligence chief.
Sir David Omand, former director of the GCHQ electronic listening agency, said it was essential that there was a legal justification for any expansion of the government's power to monitor the personal correspondence of the public.
In a report he co-authored with Demos, he warned no such legal argument had been made and warned of the "chilling effect" fears of state surveillance could have on the use of social media.