Campaigners have warned that policies in the Labour and Conservative manifestos could allow the government to have complete access to our private lives by 2025.
Both parties have pledged to extend powers available to security agencies, as well as promising more oversight on how spies gather their intelligence. This revelation comes following a committee of MPs calling for transparency and an overhaul of the laws governing the activity of intelligence agencies.
The Conservative manifesto vows to keep security powers "up to date" so that they can access a variety of communications data. Labour's manifesto only mentions that it is committed to "strengthening" security agencies' powers.
The Tories also want to work on new communications legislation which they claim will strengthen their ability to fight terrorists, criminals, and child-grooming gangs. Campaigners, on the other hand, see this as an attempt to revive the controversial 'snooper's charter.'
The only parties who have pledged to reduce surveillance powers are the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, and the SNP. The Lib Dems are opposed to blanket collection of personal communication, the Greens oppose "any case for secret unaccountable mass surveillance", and the SNP oppose the 'snooper's charter' but believe in a proportionate response to identify and spy on suspected extremists.
You might want to keep these revelations in mind when you hit the polls on 7th May. [The Guardian]
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