UK
02/06/2015 08:40 BST | Updated 02/06/2015 13:59 BST

The National Front Page Leaves Little Doubt How Scottish Nationalists Feel About The Snoopers' Charter

The pro-independence newspaper The National has once again made the most bombastic summary of Scottish Nationalists' opposition to the Tories' proposed "Snoopers' Charter".

The SNP has expressed its opposition to the sweeping legal change which would empower the government to collect and monitor peoples' communications.

The law could force Facebook, WhatsApp and SnapChat to hand over your messages to security services.

The newspaper, which has made photoshopping Tory politicians a speciality for its front page, attacked 'The May-trix', mocking up Home Secretary Theresa May as a character from less-than-recent film franchise The Matrix.

national snoopers charter

Today's National front page

It reported that experts were warning of a "mass exodus" by companies from the UK if the law were passed, citing fears that all companies using encryption software would have to adapt it to give security agencies access to it.

The paper quoted an Edinburgh University academic who said: “There will certainly be organisations concerned that their business transactions will be more open to Government oversight. It seems very sensible to start thinking about moving servers to another country.”

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Ed Paton-Williams, a campaigner with the digital libertarians Open Rights Group, told the paper he foresaw companies heading overseas because of the change.

He said: “I would not be surprised if more companies come out and say [leaving the UK] is something they would consider doing.

"It reduces their ability to do business securely and that’s crucial to showing that they’re profitable because they rely on trust with their consumers and their customers.”

But The National's front page left some journalists unimpressed - with one calling it "beyond parody" and another suggesting it was flattering, not critical, of May.

It follows earlier photoshopping efforts by the paper lampooning and attacking Westminster politicians.

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The SNP, which now has 56 seats in parliament, has previously suggested the Snoopers' Charter, which was included in last week's Queen's Speech, would be "unacceptable".

“We think the mass collection of data is wrong. There is a line beyond which it is unacceptable for civil liberties can be impinged," one SNP MP told The Telegraph shortly after the election.

The SNP has already said it will reach out to libertarian Tory backbenchers to block the repeal of the Human Rights Act - another controversial pledge by the Conservatives.

New MP Joanna Cherry, a former QC, said her party was already reaching out to Tories on the issue.

Speaking in May, she told Sky News: ""We are very confident that we can lead a progressive consensus in the House of Commons which would be sufficient to defeat the Government, drawing on our contact with Tory backbenchers."