A new report says the government must base their plans to access private email and online correspondence on the following principles:
- There must be sufficient, sustainable cause
- There must be integrity of motive
- The methods must be proportionate and necessary
- There must be right authority, validated by external oversight
- It should be a last resort
- There must be reasonable prospect of success
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:
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:
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.
Nick Clegg told ITV1's Daybreak any new surveillance laws must "safeguard people's civil liberties" and said reports that the Liberal Democrats were trying to halt the "snooping charter" were "wildly exaggerated".
Nick Clegg told ITV1's Daybreak that reports the Liberal Democrats will block the Government's new proposals on surveillance laws were "wildly exaggerated".
He said any new plans would protect people's "civil liberties".
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.
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."
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."
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."