Labour: Government “can’t keep burying its head in the sand” on data monitoring

Labour is urging the government to devise a new national strategy to tackle cyber crime in order that tougher action is taken against those that use the Internet in connection with child pornography and terrorism.

Related: Nick Clegg pooh-poohs proposed Home Office ‘web snooping’ bill

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, will call on the government to develop a new range of safeguards that will allow the police and intelligence services to increase the remit when it comes to tackling crimes of this nature.

“Above all we need the Government to engage in a serious public debate about these new challenges and the reforms that are needed. Online communication and technology is forcing us to think again about our traditional frameworks for balancing privacy and safety, liberty and security,” Cooper said.

Chief among Cooper’s plans are a new national strategy to tackle online fraud that will bring in the private sector and replace an approach that she describes as fragmented. The stronger penalties against those engaging in online child pornography also involve the private sector and the plans would also firm up the work of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency [CEOP].

“The Government can’t keep burying its head in the sand and hoping these issues will go away – they are too important for that, for our liberty, our security, the growth of our economy and the health of our democracy,” Cooper added.

Labour also proposes to reform both Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary oversight as well as kick off a review of the 2000 RIPA Act to make sure the law is continuing to keep up with the new challenges being presented. Lastly, a debate is needed to talk about the wider challenges presented by privacy, data and the private sector and how British citizens’ online interests can continue to be protected around the globe

The latest recommendations come after the Liberal Democrats put the kibosh on new data monitoring proposals, or “snooper’s charter,” that were included in the Queen’s Speech last year. Nick Clegg, who was one of the main critics of the plans, argued that it would end up with a “record kept of every website you visit and who you communicate with on social media sites.”