First hints of intelligence in surveillance debate

Thursday, 27 March, 2014 - 20:30

The Whitehouse has issued a statement from President Barack Obama regarding US meta-data collection programmes.  The statement makes it clear that the president has decided that the US government should not collect or hold this data in bulk as it is a privacy concern. 

GCHQ's Watching You

Friday, 28 February, 2014 - 23:00

The latest Snowden files revealed by the Guardian show Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of innocent internet users. This was carried out under a blanket surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve.

Clegg and Cooper Fail on Mass Surveillance

Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 - 19:00

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.


"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them." - Edward Snowden

Mass Surveillance

We are asking you to contact your Member of Parliament to ask them to support Early Day Motion 147. It need not take long, the important thing is you tell them how you feel on this issue. Not all MPs can sign EDMs, front benchers don't as a rule, but it is still important that you take this opportunity to let them know you care about mass surveillance.

Loz Kaye : LibDems and Labour – Nothing to Offer on Mass Surveillance

There is a set pattern for speeches from mainstream politicians about the Internet. Start off with a few “isn't it amazing what the kids can do nowadays” generalities to show you are vaguely with it. Then do a nod in the direction of the economic benefits technology can bring, to keep business happy. That leaves you clear to get on to the meat of what you really want to talk about – how the Nettywebz are a Pandora's box of terror, abuse, threats to citizen's rights, and moral dissolution.

So it has proved with the much trailed speeches by the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and the LibDem Leader Nick Clegg respectively. In particular, Cooper's speech is so packed with web cliches that it is clear that the Labour top remains fundamentally anti-Internet in its outlook. There are too many lazy conflations to mention, Facebook and NHS data are lumped together for example. She refers to the “digital challenges of the last 12 months” regarding mass surveillance. I have no idea what this means specifically, and I suspect whoever wrote it doesn't either.

To cut through the padding, the heart of what they set out to address, was surveillance in the light of the Snowden revelations. I want to focus on the substance – such as it is – of what they said and proposed, rather than how it was sold to the media.

The fact that they are discussing this at all shows that it is beginning to filter through to politicians that they can't ignore the gravity of the serious breaches of trust that have taken place. That's in no small way thanks to all the work of grassroots digital rights and privacy activists over the months. And of course Edward Snowden himself, whatever Cooper might claim to the contrary. To be fair, this is some kind of progress.

The Mancunion interviews Loz Kaye

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye speaks to Features Editor Sam Dumitriu about surveillance, filters and how the internet can transform politics.

Just because our politicians failed to hold the security services to account, doesn’t mean those of us outside of the Westminster bubble aren’t interested, but you have to let your MP know you’re concerned about these issues because one of the things they love to say is that that nobody cares and no one contacted us.

Monday, 10 March, 2014 - 17:00