Re: The idiocy of this runs even deeper.
I'm coming round to the view that all this politicking and "pressure on the tech companies" is more about "legalising" what the security services can already do, albeit somewhat clumsily, than actually being able to do the snooping they want.
The Home Office are the pawns in the arguments between the Cheltenham and the Tech companies and are allowed to be "clueless" so that they can extricate themselves from future damage when the activities in Cheltenham extend beyond the "terrorist" searching, as they will (or have), inevitably do.
Snooping on legal protesters "They are plotting industrial/social/investment terrorism", snooping on elected representatives "They are plotting overthrow of (our view of) democratic (sic) society", snooping on each other "You know where you are with the enemy but you can never trust your friends", snooping on my neighbour "Because I can".
Time travel is real welcome to the 1960's and the Stasi soon to be replaced by 1984 and the all seeing eye.