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Lib Dem manifesto: Spook slapdown, ban on teen-repelling Mosquitos

Promises from Clegg? (oi, stop laughing)

Election 2015 The Liberal Democrats published their election manifesto today, promising stronger protections for freedom of speech and claiming to be the party pushing back against mass state surveillance.

While many of the tech promises echoed those of the two bigger parties, the main difference for the Lib Dems appears to be a pushback on surveillance.

"Freedom of expression has recently been under renewed attack, and siren voices call for us to sacrifice freedom to gain illusory security," read the manifesto.

"Liberal Democrats reject this false choice: true security for individuals and for our nation must be built on a platform of equal rights and civil liberties," said the document.

It also reiterated the calls for a Digital Bill of Rights.

"Online, people will no longer be worried that the government is monitoring their every keystroke: a Digital Bill of Rights will have enshrined enduring principles of privacy and helped keep the internet open."

Among its other pledges, the party wants to ban Mosquito devices "that discriminate against young people" by blasting them with a high pitch noise — a task that could prove problematic.

Elsewhere it listed similar promises to the larger parties: getting 99.8 per cent of the urban and rural population on high-speed broadband; more university tech clusters; the promotion of STEM subjects in schools; and more public services and frontline staff online.

It also wants to extend the as-yet-to-be-seen principle of digital-by-default into local government.

The party says it wants to continue to release government data sets, and extend Freedom of Information laws to cover private companies delivering public services.

The Lib Dems won 57 seats in the 2010 election, and with no party having an overall majority, it joined a coalition government with the Conservative Party.®

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