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The Home Office has been accused of colluding with online ad firm Phorm on "informal guidance" to the public on whether the company's service is legal.
E-mails between the ministry and Phorm show the department asking if the firm would be "comforted" by its position.
The messages show Phorm making changes to the guidance sought by the ministry.
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokeswoman Baroness Sue Miller, who has questioned the Home Office about Phorm, said the e-mails were "jaw dropping".
Baroness Miller said the Home Office most likely consulted Phorm because "they didn't have the capacity to understand the technology they are dealing with".
It is a rather strange coincidence that within a few hours the government announced it is dropping plans to monitor communications, it emerged that the Home Office was in contact with controversial ad-tracking firm Phorm.