Clegg and Cooper Fail on Mass Surveillance

The shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, and Nick Clegg the Deputy Prime Minister have made speeches on Internet security, privacy and the Snowden leaks. Both have acknowledged public concern and called for further debate.

Clegg and Cooper called for reform of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), and the chair to be drawn from an opposition party to avoid the impression of the committee being "too cosy" with the government of the day.

While Yvette Cooper called for a review of Labour's RIPA, the Lib Dem Leader proposed an "expert review" of the principles behind the security services and a new information website: surveillance.gov.uk

However, they stopped short of any concrete moves to end mass surveillance. Concerns have reignited recently following the Guardian's reporting of GCHQ's "Optic Nerve" programme where millions of web cam images were intercepted.

Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye said:

"The pressure we and grassroots activists have been putting on is beginning to pay off. It's clear that mainstream politicians can't get away with pretending that the public doesn't care about privacy any longer."

"Even so, there is no need to be pathetically grateful just because some politicians from the Westminster bubble can finally bring themselves to mention Edward Snowden's name."

"Neither the Labour Party nor the Lib Dems seem willing to deal with the central issue: mass surveillance has overstepped the mark and the public has been mislead. Equally, neither are willing to take responsibility for the part they have played in this."

"Clegg is calling for a review. Maybe the Lib Dems need a review to tell them that the security services looking at innocent people's genitals through webcams is an abuse of power. For the rest of us, we want concrete moves to end unnecessary invasions of our privacy."

"At the end of the day, Cooper wants to shuffle chairs at the ISC and Clegg wants a new website. The Pirate Party wants to see an end to mass surveillance. That's the real action that is needed."

Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 - 19:00

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