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What the papers say about the Government's surveillance plans

  • The Guardian: Internet firms warn that government plans to monitor email and social media use in Britain are liable to be used by repressive regimes elsewhere in the world to justify their state surveillance.
  • Daily Mail: Big Brother plans to spy on all internet visits, emails and texts will cost the taxpayer £2billion.
  • Daily Telegraph: Government plans to access details of every email and website sent in Britain would be an impractical waste of money that would make the UK more like China and Iran, a leading British technology expert has said.

Home Secretary: 'Surveillance powers needed to 'help police stay one step ahead of the criminals'

The Home Secretary Theresa May
The Home Secretary says that new surveillance powers are needed to "help police stay one step ahead of the criminals" Credit: Reuters

Powers to monitor millions of emails, texts and website visits are needed to "help police stay one step ahead of the criminals", says the Home Secretary Theresa May.

In today's Sun newspaper, Mrs May insists: "I'm not willing to risk more terrorist plots succeeding and more paedophiles going free."

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Home Sec: Email snooping could stop another Ian Huntley

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EXC: Theresa May delivers uncompromising defence of email snooping in article for The Sun tomorrow...

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...May claims this sort of data helps catch killers like Ian Huntley and smash child-porn rings. Vital in war against terror too.

Lib Dem MP: Home Sec may be called to give evidence on surveillance reforms

The Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who is a member of the Home Affairs Committee has tweeted that the committee chairman Keith Vaz is considering calling the Home Secretary and head of the Office for security and counter-terrorism (OSCT) to give evidence about the proposed changes to surveillance laws.

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Just spoke to Keith Vaz, who Chairs Home Affairs Select C'ttee. He agrees we should call Home Sec and OSCT head in to give evidence ASAP #fb

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Peer promises House of Lords scrutiny of surveillance reforms

The Liberal Democrat peer Matthew Oakeshott had this reaction to the Government's planned changes to surveillance laws:

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Peers of all parties and none will scrutinise Home Office's new Surveillance Bill as closely as Security Services scrutinise every citizen.

Home Office response to fears over email 'snooping'

The Home Office has tweeted a response to people voicing their disapproval of proposed changes to surveillance laws using the hashtag #telldaveeverything.

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Security minister James Brokenshire ‘It’s not about trying to create some sort of big new government snooping exercise’ #telldaveeverything

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Security minister James Brokenshire ‘It’s about solving crime and ensuring the police are able to the job that they do.’ #telldaveeverything

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Security minister James Brokenshire: ‘We absolutely get the need for appropriate safeguards.’ #telldaveeverything

Yvette Cooper calls for safeguards on privacy

The Labour Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has called on the Government to release more details about its plans to change the law on intercepting communications. She said that "strong safeguards" were needed to protect privacy.

The Government needs to explain rapidly and in complete terms what they are planning, rather than partial briefings to the media. National security and personal privacy are too important to be left to rumours and rows...We need clear checks and balances on what the police, security services or the government are able to do, so that privacy and security are both protected and so that public confidence and trust in the system is upheld.

Information Commissioner will 'press for safeguards'

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's Office said: "The Information Commissioner's role in this Home Office project, both under this government and the last, has been to press for the necessary limitations and safeguards to mitigate the impact on citizens' privacy.

"We will continue to seek assurances, including the implementation of the results of a thorough Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA).

"Ultimately, the decision as to whether to proceed with the project is one which has to be taken by Parliament."

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