Times: ‘Cameron is told to drop snooping on web users’

by Stephen Tall on April 22, 2013

Today’s Times front page is dominated by the news that nine cyber-security experts and academics have issued a stark warning to David Cameron to halt ‘sweeping plans to hand the security services the power to snoop on emails, website visits and social media sites’: “they remain as naive and technically dangerous as when they were floated by the last government,” they warn.

times web snooping

The paper notes the opposition both of Nick Clegg — who highlighted his disagreement with the draft Bill last December — and of Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who points out: “Where we lead, other countries would follow, snooping on their citizens’ legal activities. … The case for these proposals is massively out-weighed by the cost and the harm to privacy, here and overseas.”

The cyber-experts (who include Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at Cambridge University, Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute, and Angela Sasse, Professor of Human-Centred Technology at UCL) argue the Bill should be torn up: ‘We … urge the Government to abandon the Communications Data Bill and to work with the technical community and the police to meet the real challenges of law enforcement in a connected world.”

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.