Surveillance reform is needed, but must be lawful, says report
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.
Clegg: New surveillance laws must protect people's 'civil liberties'
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".
'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."
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."