We hear all the time that the British public don't care about mass surveillance, privacy and Edward Snowden, but we know that's not true. It may be that those inside the Westminster bubble have been able to hide from how people really feel up to now, but it's time to change that.
It's time for members of Parliament to stand up, be counted, and support our freedoms.
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.
Tom Watson has put forward the motion calling for the end of mass surveillance and condemning how the assurances given have mislead us all. It's vital this EDM gets as much support as possible.
That this House notes with great concern that surveillance by GCHQ of every British resident using Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has now been confirmed by the Director General of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism; further notes that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) has been interpreted as authorising mass surveillance of internet communications, content and metadata sent inside the UK; further notes that GCHQ justifies such conduct without a warrant on the basis that such data is external under RIPA when mediated by a computer server in the US; believes that this construction is flawed, contrary to evidence given to Committees of the House, contrary to written assurances provided during the passage of RIPA and contrary to the Interception of Communications Code of Practice; further believes that continuous mass surveillance of the social media of every UK citizen is not only incompatible with basic human rights and the Magna Carta but exposes the Government to an avalanche of privacy claims; and urgently calls on the Secretary of State for the Home Department to bring forward legislative proposals to end these practices.
You can find the motion here too: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/14
What to say
It's better that an email / letter comes in your own words. MPs get fed up with lots of identical emails very quickly, and it harms rather than helps a cause.
We know it's something a lot of you are passionate about, but do still be polite and to the point!
Ask them to support Early Day Motion 147 "Mass Surveillance"
If they can't sign, ask them to let you know what they are doing on the issue.
Points you might like to include:
- RIPA has been interpreted as authorising mass surveillance, despite assurances.
- In parliament laws asking for blanket surveillance capabilities, such as the Communications Data Bill have been rejected by our elected representatives.
- Powerful capabilities such as OpticNerve which intercepts web cam images has been deployed against people not suspected of any wrong doing.
- Mass surveillance undermines the right to a private life.
- Using surveillance on innocent people does not make us safer, it just turns us all from being citizens in to being suspects.
How to contact your MP
You can find details of how to contact your MP here
Do let us know that you have contacted your MP, and let us know what the response is good, bad or indifferent. Or if they can't be bothered to get back to you.
Please share this with others. Don't let anyone tell us ever again that British people don't care about mass surveillance.
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