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Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

Theresa May's proposed Snooper's Charter absent from law-making programme

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The Queen opened a new session of Parliament this morning and - as expected - Home Secretary Theresa May's Communications Data bill was absent from the government's upcoming programme of law-making for the next year.

However, as indicated by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - who said late last month that the so-called Snoopers' Charter wouldn't happen under his watch - provisions are to be put in place to aid spooks and police in accessing information they need to supposedly protect the British public.

The Queen said today:

In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace.

Clegg recently said that "the specific issue" with IP addresses needed to be looked at. The Liberal Democrat leader wrote in the Daily Telegraph in April:

Right now, there are not enough IP addresses to go round for all of the devices being used. Temporary addresses are attached to computers and phones while they are online, but the records of these are patchy, which means they cannot easily be matched back to individuals.

The police say a clearer picture would be a huge help in their investigations and we should explore how that can be done.

Clegg recently said he was effectively killing May's proposed bill, which would have massively increased surveillance of Brits' internet activity, because he did not consider it to be proportionate or workable as it stood.

The Home Office responded curtly to the deputy PM's comments by telling The Register at the time that talks about the bill were "ongoing". But its absence from the Queen's Speech today reveals that the Liberal Democrats - the junior member of the Coalition government - had scored some political points by refusing to include May's proposals in the law-making programme for the year. ®

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