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Snapchat jihadist-fearing peers return with LAST GASP Snoopers' Charter demand

Counter-Terror and Security Bill hits report stage on Monday

By Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2015

Updated As expected, peers are once again trying to sneak in amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill to swiftly pass a law in the UK that would gift spooks and police with sweeping powers to snoop on Brits' internet activity.

Amendments to the proposed law were added overnight ahead of the bill reaching the report stage in the House of Lords on Monday.

The Register reported last week that four peers would return to lobby for what many have dubbed a Snoopers' Charter – a term which Lord West claimed was "emotive claptrap".

However, their amendments are based on Home Secretary Theresa May's widely pooh-poohed draft Communications Data Bill, which was mothballed in 2012, after the Tory-led government's junior Coalition partner, the Liberal Democrat Party, refused to throw its support behind the proposed legislation.

Lords King, Blair, West and Carlile will demand the changes be added to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill on Monday afternoon, by claiming that British lives could be lost if the law isn't updated to allow cops and spies to capture more data online.

As we saw last week, however, the peers repeatedly exposed their weak understanding of the subject matter. Lord King offered up some particularly choice remarks about technology with passages such as this:

I am not a tweeter. We have Facebook and Twitter. Somebody tried to explain WhatsApp to me; somebody else tried to explain Snapchat. I do not know about them, but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do.

The latest proposed amendments – which it's important to note are unlikely to slip through the House of Lords – can be viewed here. ®

Update – 2 February

Unsurprisingly, the four peers failed to thrust the amendments into the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill on Monday night.

Government minister Lord Bates urged Lord King to withdraw the amendments and pointed out that the Tories would once again push for a Communications Data Bill, if David Cameron's party returns to Number 10 in May.

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