http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012 ... urity-planTheresa May and Kenneth Clarke urge Tories to back security plan
Ministers tell party to support government on surveillance and claim access to sensitive data is crucial to deport terror suspects
* Rajeev Syal and Richard Norton-Taylor
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 April 2012 19.41 BST
Theresa May and Kenneth Clarke have launched a joint bid to win the backing of Tory MPs for their plans to strengthen the powers of the security services, after they were widely criticised as taking a step towards secret justice.
The home secretary and justice minister, have sent letters to their parliamentary party claiming that terror suspects could be given British passports if the government is not able to fight their deportation using sensitive evidence.
The four-page letter has angered some senior Tories who believe it is a desperate bid to shore up proposals that have been condemned across the political spectrum. It also raised eyebrows because May and Clarke have clashed a number of times over human rights.
The letter also deals with the government's attempts to widen surveillance of communications, claiming that the intelligence agencies can no longer monitor a quarter of all communications data as a result of technological advances.
May and Clarke say criminals are using internet-based communications such as Skype and instant messaging rather than making phone calls, which can be traced under existing powers.
"We estimate that we are now only able to access some 75% of the total communications data generated in this country, compared with 90% in 2006. Given the pace of technological change, the rate of degradation could increase, making future capability very uncertain," they wrote.