Theresa May uses London Bridge attack to further her autocratic agenda

On Saturday 3rd June an incident took place in which a van travelling at an estimated 50mph along London Bridge collided with pedestrians. Those inside the vehicle subsequently abandoned it and attacked a number of passers-by in nearby Borough Market. Our thoughts go out to all of those affected by this atrocious act.

We had planned for our social media accounts to respectfully stay silent throughout today. Sadly, we have realised this cannot be the case, after Theresa May released a Facebook post which, whilst condemning the attack, used the events of last night to once again further her own political agenda.

Theresa May has used this tragic event to call for a further escalation of our participation in the conflict in Syria and the Middle East, as well as to call outright for regulation of the internet, on the basis that it provides terrorists a "safe space" to hide.

Every time another tragedy takes place, the Conservative party uses it to prop up their desire to impose even more draconian measures onto our online lives. Immediately following the attack on Manchester Arena, the government was reported to be planning to enforce widespread new powers that would force technology companies to remove encryption from messaging services like Facebook and WhatsApp.

This is in spite of the the fact that experts such as the Open Rights Group and Apple CEO Tim Cook have repeatedly spoken out about the need to maintain robust end-to-end encryption to prevent data breaches and invasions of privacy.

Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Candidate for Vauxhall said: "Theresa May's desire to regulate the internet is a deathly serious threat, and we need to fight back against it with everything we have. So much of the economy, culture, communication and infrastructure of the 21st Century is founded on a free and open internet, and it is absolutely crucial that it remain that way.

"Furthermore, regulating the internet will not solve the threat of terrorism. What we need is a well-funded police force with the resources to act on intel from targeted surveillance - not warrantless mass surveillance and the curbing of our human rights and freedoms.

"Regulating the internet is not the answer, and it is shameful that Theresa May is so quick to use the events of a tragedy to fuel her own autocratic agenda."

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About Pirate Party UK

The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party has started to poll alongside major parties and is looking to build support from the grassroots. The party is standing 10 candidates in the June 2017 General Election.

Find out more about the UK Pirate Party at https://pirateparty.org.uk/ or contact campaigns@pirateparty.org.uk

Monday, 5 June, 2017 (All day)
Mark Chapman

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