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'Snooping' must be justified

The government has been urged to justify the new snooping powers it is proposing. A new report says greater internet surveillance is necessary, but must be balance against the right to privacy

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State surveillance could have 'chilling effect'

The report says it is vital for the monitoring of social media to be legally justified. Credit: ITV News

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.

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