Cameron might fast-track snooping bill after Paris attacks

The Prime Minister, speaking on BBC’s Radio 4 Today show, said “I think we should look at the timetable” of the planned draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

The bill, which would give the power to bulk collect web records of everyone has been dubbed a snooper’s charter by critics, is due to be debated by MPs next year and wouldn’t come into law until 2017, reports WIRED.

Cameron’s comments hint at a possible fast-tracking of the law, which would give intelligence agencies powers they say would allow them to prevent terrorist attacks and undermine organised crime. The prime minister was responding to questions from Nick Robinson, who was hosting the show for the first time in his new role as its presenter, in the wake of the terror attacks on Paris where more than 130 people died and hundreds of others were injured.

It was also announced that Britain would employ 1,900 new spies within GCHQ, Mi5, and Mi6, as Cameron said in a statement: “I am determined to prioritise the resources we need to combat the terrorist threat”.

Critics, who have called the legilslation mass surveillance and a “breath-taking attack on internet security”, had previously welcomed the government’s willingness to debate the legilslation and be open to changes.

The PM is the latest in a series of figures saying the bill should be looked at by parliament earlier than timetabled. On Sunday the government’s former independent terrorism legilslation reviewer Lord Carlile said the law should be “expedited”.

Writing for the Mail on Sunday Carlile — who also runs a consultancy with a former Mi6 boss — said the draft law “gives our spies all the powers they need to fight terrorism”.

He wrote: “I and other politicians want this Bill to be expedited, so that rather than becoming law by the end of 2016, which is the plan, it should become law as soon as possible.”