Feeds

Deputy PM: Rip up Snoop Charter, 'go back to the drawing board'

Bruised Home Sec admits she'll 'accept the substance' of gripes against net spy law

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Home Secretary Theresa May said she will "accept the substance of recommendations" for her draft surveillance law after the Deputy Prime Minister told her to rewrite it - and a parliamentary report slammed it as "suspicious" and "too sweeping".

A joint select committee of MPs and peers, in a report published this morning, urged the Home Office to rip up many aspects of May's "Snoopers' Charter", which proposed granting cops and spooks powers to monitor citizens online to combat paedophiles and terrorists.

The panel suggested May start again by listening to telcos, civil liberty campaigners and police bodies.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also waded in, saying the Tory-led coalition government - of which his Lib Dem party is the junior member - needed to have a "fundamental rethink" about the proposed legislation.

"We cannot proceed with this bill and we have to go back to the drawing board," Clegg said. He echoed the joint committee's criticism of the bill by highlighting its wide-ranging scope, the £1.8bn price tag, the need for wider consultation and the apparent lack of appropriate safeguards.

The deputy PM added:

The committee did not, however, suggest that nothing needs to be done. They were very clear that there is a problem that must be addressed to give law enforcement agencies the powers they need to fight crime. I agree.

But that must be done in a proportionate way that gets the balance between security and liberty right. Any modernisation of the powers, including possible new legislation, must meet the concerns of the joint committee by having the best possible safeguards and keeping costs under control.

In a preemptive move against her critics, May today took to the pages of The Sun, where she has repeatedly sought the support of the tabloid's readership for the proposed new law, to repeat her warning that child abusers and terrorists could "plot horrific crimes" online if they are not curtailed by the authorities monitoring web activity.

"We must not get left behind. You and your loved ones have the right to expect the government to protect you from harm," she pleaded, before conceding:

Politicians from all parties have agreed that new laws are needed to help the police keep pace with changing technology. Parliament has made suggestions about how our plans could be improved and we will accept the substance of its recommendations.

May claimed - despite what is now a major setback for her plans to massively increase the surveillance of people using the web and other communication technologies - that she would "not allow these vitally important laws to be delayed any longer in this Parliament".

But her proposal has now been derailed by parliamentarians who all agreed that May's draft bill needed reeling in.

Malcolm Hutty of the London Internet Exchange (LINX) said that "any new legislation must be much more tightly scoped" and added that LINX "look forward to working with the Home Office on developing proportionate requirements for communications data storage and access". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.