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“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”: MP accused of quoting Nazi leader

The propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is believed to have used it in 1933.

A UK POLITICIAN has been accused of unwittingly quoting Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels while defending new new internet spying laws.

Conservative MP Richard Graham was speaking during a debate on new legislation that’s being decried by civil rights groups as “a breathtaking attack on the internet security of every man, woman and child”.

Speaking to his party colleague Home Secretary Theresa May, Graham used the oft-quoted argument, “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.

The origin of the phrase is unclear but it is most famously associated with Goebbels who is believed to have used it in 1933.

The phrase is often used in defence of spying and intelligence services.

Graham has defended his choice of words, saying they are being taken out of context.

The laws themselves allow UK authorities partial access to a suspect’s browsing history.

UK security services would be able to access Internet communication records, which show which online services were accessed by a suspect and when.

May hailed the draft legislation as a “world-leading oversight regime”.

“This new legislation will underpin the work of law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies for years to come. It is their licence to operate,” she told the Commons chamber.

Civil liberties concerns

The bill spells out how agencies can acquire data in bulk and how they can “interfere” with electronic equipment such as computers and smartphones in order to obtain data.

Civil liberties groups worry that the bill’s powers will lack sufficient oversight and be used unnecessarily, and could lead to the kind of blanket surveillance revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“After all the talk of climbdowns and safeguards, this long-awaited bill constitutes a breath-taking attack on the internet security of every man, woman and child in our country,” said Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty.

- With reporting from © – AFP 2015

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