Coalition's tech tagging delays mean archaic rules stay

The government is delaying a new policy that deals with terrorist threats and may look at lightning tech tagging.

MPs were told that the government will adjust the systems of control orders for terrorist suspects later this month, as it was in the middle of being completed. They were told that some rules would be eased as well as the restrictions on mobile phones and computers, but stringent controls would be given to a small number of individuals.

The current order means that those accused of terrorism have restricted liberties and at times are unable to leave the house. There is also a method, known as Tech-tagging, which means all their communications on mobile phones and computers are monitored, or taken away completely

More information on the new proposals, now labelled the surveillance order, will be given by Theresa May on the week of the 24 January as the government looks to find a balance between security concerns without infringing civil liberties.

Big Brother Watch has criticised the delay. Alex Deane, director, said: “The Government has funked it.

“They’re long-grassing this issue, and running away from tough decisions – this is no way to govern.

“Control orders are an immoral form of perpetual house arrest, in a country that supposedly believes in the presumption of innocence.

“The Prime Minister may well get his way on a cross-party agreement, given how rabidly authoritarian Labour was in government. But agreement on a botched compromise isn’t good news – it’s a punch in the gut for freedom.”

At Prime Minister’s question time yesterday David Cameron said he hoped all parties would agree on the order reform.

However, he warned there were “no simple answers” about how to deal with the terrorist threat, before adding that any changes had to be “good for liberty and good for security”.