http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... meron.htmlLib Dem histrionics in civil liberties spat is vital test for Cameron
By Robert Winnett, Political Editor
10:23PM BST 04 Apr 2012
Last month, Nick Clegg and other senior ministers were briefed at the Government’s National Security Council on how Britain was failing to “keep up” with terrorists.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader were shown secret intelligence demonstrating how potential terrorists were now communicating with one another via internet sites such as Skype or even via X-Box game consoles.
The current legislation, which covers telephones and emails, had a loophole which meant the spooks couldn’t monitor who was communicating via these new technologies.
The ministers were said to have left the meeting in agreement that the law needed to keep pace with the technology.
Similarly, behind the scenes, discussions have been ongoing in recent weeks over government plans for so-called “secret justice”. Again, there was cross-party agreement on the need for the law to be changed.
Among David Cameron’s advisers, there is quiet frustration but a political understanding that Mr Clegg is facing a deep hole in the forthcoming elections. But, the Prime Minister is not nearly as powerful as he was a fortnight ago and therefore issued his own statement on the forthcoming secret justice plans. His press advisers were also despatched to explain the necessity of the new surveillance laws.