In 2002 Theresa May Called Government Email Snooping A "Grievous" Mistake

By James O Malley on at

Following the London Bridge and Manchester Attacks, Theresa May is currently planning a huge assault on internet freedoms and digital rights after the election. In fact, plans for greater regulation of the internet is right there in the Conservative manifesto.

But it turns out that she hasn't always thought this way.

In 2002 when she was Chairperson of the Conservative Party, she gave a speech to conference in which she said the following, while talking about the record of what was then Tony Blair's Labour government:

"This government is certainly making mistakes. Some of them grievous. And we have been determined not to let them get away with it".

"They planned to let bureaucrats snoop on peoples' phone and email conversations. We helped to stop that."

That's right - she's boasting about how she and her party opposed government surveillance plans. In 2002 - just over a year after the 9/11 attacks. (She then goes on to attack the fox hunting ban, so at least she is strong and stable on that front.)

It's a shame that the Prime Minister appears to have since changed her mind. I guess now she is the chief bureaucrat she's rather attracted to the idea of massively draconian snooping laws.

So perhaps it is time to ask her the question: What's changed? Why did she change her view that electronic snooping is a "grievous" mistake? Given even more of our lives now take place online, surely the infringement on our liberties caused by snooping powers is greater than ever?

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