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Lib Dems to Oppose Ministers Signing-off Own Warrants in Investigatory Powers Bill

November 1, 2015 1:10 PM

Snooper's CharterCommenting on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill due to be published this week, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said:

"Liberal Democrats believe Britain is an open, democratic country where there is no place for mass surveillance and investigation without suspicion.

"If Theresa May is genuinely backing down on plans to store the internet browsing history of the entire population, then that is a welcome development and a vindication of the Liberal Democrats' decision to block the idea in the coalition.

"However, the devil will be in the detail and we must wait for the Bill before we can tell whether the Conservatives have really listened.

"We will carefully scrutinise Wednesday's draft bill. In Coalition we blocked the so-called snooper's charter because it was disproportionate and intrusive, and we would again oppose any measure which would threaten our civil liberties.

"We welcome Theresa May's assurance that there won't be a ban on encryption, which is essential to keep our data secure.

"This is a major climbdown for the Prime Minister. It would have made the UK a laughing stock and driven tech companies overseas.​

"But it is disappointing to see Theresa May still won't commit to judicial authorisation, this is a key reform for Liberal Democrats and we will fight tooth and nail for it.​

"The executive signing off their own warrants has no place in a 21st century democracy."​