UK deputy prime minister says gov't mass online surveillance proposal 'isn't going to happen'

LONDON – Britain’s deputy prime minister says a government proposal for the routine surveillance of citizens’ online activity is dead in the water.

The proposal calls for the logging of every single piece of online activity — ranging from Skype calls to parents to visits to pornographic websites — and the plans have alarmed free speech advocates and academics.

Nick Clegg told LBC radio on Thursday the proposal “isn’t workable or proportionate. It isn’t going to happen.”

Clegg’s opposition could sink the plan because his Liberal Democrats are the junior party in Britain’s coalition government, which is led by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.

Cameron’s office declined to comment directly on Clegg’s statement, saying conversations about the proposal are ongoing.