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10 June 2013

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter And Yahoo Refuse To Cooperate With UK's 'Snooper's Charter'

The five biggest internet companies in the world, including Google and Facebook, have privately delivered a thinly veiled warning to the home secretary, Theresa May, that they will not voluntarily co-operate with the "snooper's charter".

In a leaked letter to the home secretary that is also signed by Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo!, the web's "big five" say that May's rewritten proposals to track everybody's email, internet and social media use remain "expensive to implement and highly contentious".

The private letter, which has been passed to the Guardian, is part of a series of continuing confidential discussions between the industry and the Home Office. It says that May's "core premise" to create a new retention order requiring overseas internet companies to store the personal data of all their British-based users for up to 12 months has "potentially seriously harmful consequences".

The leading US-based internet players have also told the home secretary that her proposed ?1.8bn communications data plan puts at risk Britain's position as a leading digital nation and jeopardises the UK's leading role in promoting freedom of expression on the internet around the world.

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