Nick Clegg: 'No snooping bill on my watch'

Deputy prime minister says internet 'snooping' plans will not go ahead while Liberal Democrats are in power.

Nick Clegg has promised Britain's internet users will be safe from 'snooping' so long as the Liberal Democrats are in government.

Speaking on the radio, the deputy prime minister said a Home Office plan to log details of individuals' online activity is "not going to happen" while his party is in power.

The proposed Communications Data Bill would require broadband providers to store digital records of every web page a customer visits, which could then be shared with government security services and the police.

Clegg told his weekly LBC phone-in: "What people have dubbed the snooper's charter - I have to be clear with you, that's not going to happen.

"In other words, the idea that the government will pass a law that means there will be a record kept of every website you visit, who you communicate with on social media sites - that's not going to happen. It's certainly not going to happen with Liberal Democrats in government."

The controversial plan has been met with fierce opposition from much of the public, internet privacy groups and civil rights campaigners.

Mark Gracey, chairman of ISPA, which represents the UK's internet service providers, told broadbandchoices.co.uk: "This is an important and sensitive issue for industry and the wider internet community.

"We have argued all along that there is a need to review law enforcement's powers in this area. However, any new powers should be workable and proportionate. We are yet to be convinced that the current proposals will meet these requirements.

"We urge the government to reassess the current proposals and ensure that industry and other stakeholders are properly consulted in any future review of powers."

Home secretary Theresa May has insisted the Communications Data Bill is essential for countering paedophiles, extremists and fraudsters. She wants the draft legislation to be in place next year.

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