(Reuters) - Plans to boost digital surveillance powers have pushed the government into a row it can ill afford, after a week of gaffes that have raised questions over Prime Minister David Cameron's leadership.
The plan involves monitoring all phone calls, texts, emails and online activities to help tackle crime and militant attacks, a move condemned even by some within Cameron's Conservative Party and labelled by critics as a "snooper's charter".
The opposition Labour Party has made political capital out of the furore sparked by the proposals, after a week of embarrassment over mixed messages on a hot food tax and how to handle a fuel strike.
"I say to the prime minister: he has got to get a grip on this government. He has got to get a grip on the way his government operates and the way that policy is made," Labour leader Ed Miliband said on Tuesday.
2. I'm beginning to be entertained by the snoop greed.
They want to see everything but they don't really understand how much there is. Or how worthless most of it is. I know, they have brilliant search formulas. But....
I was once a member of a Yahoo Group. For General Hospital. One of our members was married to a Jordanian named Mohammed. She mentioned him now and then. We were also very angry with GH management and frequently, on our PRIVATE LIST, mentioned hideous and exquisite tortures they deserved to endure.
Some months after 9/11 we were unable to access our list, our group. No other group we knew was affected. Weeks. Then we were told all our old posts had vanished but we were good to start a new group.
I always thought that we used enough hot button words that, together with the name of Alice's husband, were enough to get us flagged.
And I treasure the fantasy of determined FBI agents reading ten thousand posts involving soap opera, child rearing, and shoe buying.