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    We Interviewed The Lib Dems Over Snapchat To Ask If They'd Ban Snapchat

    Justice minister Simon Hughes clarified the party's stance on Snapchat. Not entirely sure how we ended up here.

    David Cameron has declared that he does not want to allow any form of encrypted messaging that cannot be monitored by the security services.


    Speaking in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the prime minister said he does not want to allow any means of communication that is completely secure and cannot be read by the security services even with "a signed warrant from the home secretary personally".

    That strict definition of communication could include common encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage, and everyone's favourite picture messaging app, Snapchat. There's various reasons why such a ban may not actually happen, but a lot of people are concerned for the future of their Snapchats.

    With this in mind, BuzzFeed News decided to start Snapchatting Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem justice minister and MP for Bermondsey, to check out whether the Lib Dems back their coalition partners on this matter.

    This is what happened in what is probably the world's first political interview conducted entirely over a service designed largely for its ability to send self-destructing images of your private parts.

    Start off with a failed attempt to do a quizzical, Paxman-esque selfie.

    Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

    Add straightforward question. Press send.

    And we have a reply! From Simon Hughes, in an incredibly yellow room.

    Simon Hughes / Snapchat

    The Lib Dems did indeed block the "Snoopers' Charter", their name for the 2012 Communications Data Bill.

    But social networks are what most people care about. What about them?

    Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

    (The attempt to draw the Facebook logo was not entirely successful.)

    Straight back with another response.

    Simon Hughes / Snapchat

    So the Lib Dems will pledge unmonitored, freely available Snapchats for every Briton while they're in government?

    Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

    The answer comes...

    Simon Hughes / Snapchat

    That's a slogan for the manifesto front page.

    Well, this interview is pretty much finished. Time for one last question.

    Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

    The man with the yellow taxi says it's an emoji-laden thumbs up.

    Simon Hughes / Snapchat

    Well, that's settled then: The Lib Dems have pledged to never spy on your Snapchats. We intend to conduct all political interviews in this format in the future.

    Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Jim Waterson at

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