Now Cameron wants to snoop on Twitter and Facebook, and he wants Obama’s help

15 Jan 2015

US President Barack Obama (left) and UK Prime Minister David Cameron

Days after unleashing an internet storm over his threats to ban WhatsApp and Snapchat if UK intelligence agencies can’t snoop messages, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is going after Twitter and Facebook.

Not only does Cameron want to access encrypted messages on these social networks, he wants US President Barack Obama to support him.

Cameron is planning to urge Obama to put pressure on US internet firms like Twitter and Facebook to co-operate with UK intelligence agencies as they seek to track online activities of Islamist extremists.

According to The Guardian, Cameron will be the first European leader to meet with Obama since the shootings in Paris last week that saw 20 people killed.


It is understood Cameron will demand US internet companies store and be prepared to hand over data and content needed by intelligence agencies, such as the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Cameron said this week that if elected in the next UK general elections, he would ban encrypted online communications tools that could be used by terrorists unless intelligence agencies like GCHQ and MI5 were not given increased access.

It is understood that Cameron wants to bring back the Communications Data Bill, otherwise known as the Snoopers Charter, which was shelved because it was not supported by the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives’ current partners in government.

The proposed legislation would also oblige telecoms operators and ISPs to store more data on people’s online activities, including their social networking messages.

Cameron’s statement came after leaders of EU nations called on ISPs to provide a limited form of censorship to report incitement of hatred following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.

Barack Obama and David Cameron image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years