Today, Parliament is debating the Snoopers Charter, a wide-ranging mass-scale domestic surveillance law that allows government agencies to peer into the most intimate details of your life, conscripting internet and technology companies as participants in surveillance, with only the thinnest veneer of checks and balances and accountability for the inevitable abuse.
The Open Rights Group wants to make sure that every MP turns up for work today, and that everyone in the chamber knows that this is unacceptable. They've created an excellent video based on their genius London publicity campaign, a fake public toilet whose walls went transparent when the door was locked, showing that the urge to keep your own business to yourself doesn't mean you're doing something wrong — merely that you're doing something private.
ORG has a form that takes your postcode and tees up a tweet to your MP about the Snoopers Charter, which you can edit and send. It will only take seconds, and could make a difference to your future and the future of the nation.
The IPBill will give the state unprecedented access to your private data. Your web browsing history and app use will be collected; every public and private database you are on can be analysed; your personal communications data will be scooped up. The indiscriminate collection of our data is a mass violation of privacy and a reversal of the presumption of innocent until proven guilty.
How do you know whether the police or security services have looked at your private communications when they shouldn't have? The lack of transparency about surveillance means that we do not know whether surveillance powers are being abused. One of the changes ORG is calling for is for people who have been placed under surveillance to be notified six months after the surveillance ends as long as there is no risk to an ongoing investigation. This happens in other democracies and would help the police and security services be more transparent about their work.
The bill is being debated today—Tweet your MP
[Open Rights Group/Snooperscharter.co.uk]