Monday, April 02, 2012

Nick Clegg unites the Lib Dems on email snooping

I supported Nick Clegg over tuition fees: the expansion of university education made a less generous settlement inevitable.

I supported Nick Clegg over the Health & Social Care Bill - the NHS cannot be preserved in aspic and some of the reforms were thoroughly welcome.

But like every other Lib Dem I have heard from today, I cannot support him over email snooping.

Here are Nick's words on the subject, as quoted by BBC News:
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was "totally opposed to the idea of governments reading people's emails at will, or creating a new central government database". 
"The point is we are not doing any of that and I wouldn't allow us to do any of that," he said. 
"All we are doing is updating the rules which currently apply to mobile telephone calls to allow the police and security services to go after terrorists and serious criminals, and updating that to apply to technology like Skype which is increasingly being used by people who want to make those calls and send those emails."
Before we get too angry for being patronised, let us remember that Tony Blair did not send an email until he had resigned as prime minister.

So Nick probably knows less about the net and social media than most Lib Dem members. Perhaps he sincerely believes that we are all worried that the government wants to read our emails.

In which case he needs far better advice than he has been given so far.

I am too angry to write anything this evening that I won't later regret, so here are some good pieces on the subject by fellow Lib Dem bloggers:

  • Jennie Rigg - A Message For the Lib Dem Leadership: Stop trying to shut US up and do your jobs
  • Mark Pack - Why so many Liberal Democrats are angry
  • John Hemming MP - Snooping proposal - not one I can support
  • Nick Thornsby - Liberal Democrats in government must u-turn quickly over snooping proposals

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