Criticism for 'snooper's bill'

Nick Clegg has added his voice to growing criticism of Theresa May's 'snooper's charter'. He said the Home Office's proposed new powers for crime fighters to monitor all emails, web visits and phone calls need a "fundamental rethink".

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Scope of draft Communications Bill 'too wide'

The committee said under the draft Bill, the Home Secretary would be given "sweeping powers to issue secret notices" ordering communications companies to disclose "potentially limitless categories of data".

Ministers argue that proposal, known as clause one, has been kept deliberately wide so it can be "future-proofed".

But the committee dismissed the argument and criticised the Government for failing to properly take account of the right to privacy.

There is a fine but crucial line between allowing our law enforcement and security agencies' access to the information they need to protect the country, and allowing our citizens to go about their daily business without a fear, however unjustified, that the state is monitoring their every move.

Whilst the joint committee realise that there are specific data types which are not currently available, and which would aid the work of law enforcement bodies and the security services, we are very concerned at how wide the scope of the Bill is in its current form.

– Committee chairman Lord Blencathra

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