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Cyber security experts urge Cameron to ditch Communications Data Bill

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 22, 2013 | 2 min read

Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to drop proposed plans to grant the security services new powers to intercept emails, web visits and social media posts – on the basis of civil liberties, cost and innovation concerns.

Nine cyber-security have jointly signed a letter to the PM which warns the Communications Data Bill as it currently stands ‘will be expensive, will hinder innovation and will undermine the privacy of citizens.’

The letter goes on: “…the plans remain as naive and technically dangerous as when they were floated by the last Government. It seems government has not learnt the lessons of that ill-fated legislation and is intent on trying to foist on to the internet a surveillance system designed for landline telephones.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is leading a revolt over the plans over fears that the scheme will cost billions to implement and infringe on civil liberties, prompting the Home Office to modify the draft bill.

Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University’s computer laboratory, Ian Brown, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and Angela Sasse, professor of human-centred technology at UCL are amongst the letters signatories.

The plans have received the full backing of the head of the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner however.

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