Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned against the revival of the Communications Data Bill, as senior conservatives call for the legislation to be passed for public safety.
Initially blocked by Nick Clegg earlier this month, the bill proposed that internet companies across the globe track and store data from British users for 12 months, including emails, internet and social media use. It suggested that this would allow security officials to have access to the data they need, but not the content of any messages.
Speaking on LBC 97.3, Nick Clegg said "The Facebooks, the Googles and all these people upon whose co-operation we rely to go after the bad people, just said it wasn't really workable in its present form." He also claimed that that plans were "disproportionate" and "excessive" in their current state.
Striking the right balance
In a letter dated April 18 2013 leaked to the Guardian, five internet companies, including Facebook and Google, stated that they would not co-operate with the Communications Data Bill as it could have "potentially seriously harmful consequences" on the freedom of the internet.
The letter did state that the organisations would be able to accommodate local concerns and legal requirements. Meanwhile, Nick Clegg has said that he believes that action does need to be taken to allow security services to keep an eye on suspects, but that the right balance between freedom and security needs to be struck in order to protect personal privacy.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: "The controversial Communications Data Bill has got internet companies and government figures discussing internet freedom, public safety and the privacy of the individual. It will be interesting to see what action is agreed upon and adopted in the future."