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Govt bows to RIP pressure

Too little too late, critics say

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The Government is expected to table amendments to its email snooping bill today in a bid to ease mounting opposition to the draft legislation.

Yesterday, Home Office minister Charles Clarke gave assurances that the changes to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) bill would help allay people's fears over the draconian proposals.

According to reports, the minister is planning to restrict police powers to obtain information without ministerial consent.

He is also expected to stipulate what additional costs should be borne by ISPs, although the exact details of the move won't be made public until the amendments are tabled officially.

However, critics have condemned the move as a political manoeuvre by the Government in a bid to stifle a revolt in the House of Lords.

Opponents of the bill have said privately that the measures will result in little more than tinkering at the margins.

Last week opponents of RIP said that the bill was fatally flawed and could only be saved only if a very big knife was taken to it. ®

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