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."
The Security Minister James Brokenshire has told ITV News that the Government's proposals for monitoring phone calls and online activity is not a "spying exercise" and that the data collected would "instrumental in solving crimes".
Trefor Davies of the ISP firm Timico told ITV News that it would be "easy to get around" the online surveillance measures that the Government is proposing by using mail providers like Google Mail or MSN.
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.
The Liberal Democrat peer Matthew Oakeshott had this reaction to the Government's planned changes to surveillance laws:
The Home Office has tweeted a response to people voicing their disapproval of proposed changes to surveillance laws using the hashtag #telldaveeverything.
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.
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."
Security minister James Brokenshire said the emphasis was on solving crime rather than "real-time snooping on everybody's emails".
He told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme: "We absolutely get the need for appropriate safeguards and for appropriate protections to be put in place around any changes that might come forward.
"What this is not is the previous government's plan of creating some sort of great big Big Brother database. That is precisely not what this is looking at."