Labour peers have urged British Deputy Prime Minister and Lib-Dems leader Nick Clegg to stop opposing the Communications Data Bill, dubbed the snooper’s charter by the opponents, in the wake of the Woolwich attack.
Former Labour home secretary Lord Reid and former security minister Lord West urged Clegg to drop his opposition to the legislation after a soldier was beheaded by the knife-wielding attackers in Woolwich, southeast London.
Appearing on BBC’s Newsnight, Lord Reid said the police and intelligence services should have tools they need to prevent these kinds of attacks.
Privacy watchdog Big Brother Watch, however, said it was "wholly wrong for [Lord Reid] to be arguing for a change of policy before the details of what has happened in Woolwich are clear."
The snooper’s charter, if passed, would allow bulk, warrantless, unaccountable examination of all online activities by government agencies in the country, which according to critics would harm Britons’ freedom and privacy.
The so-called snooper’s charter was proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May, despite the coalition government’s agreement in 2010 to end the storing of emails and Internet records "without good reason".