Friday, 19 July 2013

Big Brother is watching you, stop Tempora

Guest post from a local Green Party member concerned about privacy:

Given the recent revelations about GCHQ’s ‘Tempora’ program UK citizens are facing the greatest threat to their civil liberties in this country’s history. Indiscriminate surveillance is being collected on the populace on a massive scale with no public mandate or accountability. This is being allowed through a legal loophole which would have been legitimized with the Snooper’s Charter. If this kind of system is allowed to exist at all at the very least it should have a mandate from both the public and parliament – with external accountability and auditing. No publicly accountable body currently exists to audit this program.

Why is privacy important?

Privacy is the tool with which individuals maintain their autonomy and individuality. This is the ability to make your own decisions from what to wear, what to eat, who to socialise with, what to read, what to watch, what to believe, who to vote for, whom to worship; without regard to your neighbours or rulers. As soon as an individual becomes aware of being monitored behaviour automatically changes. A society in which you are constantly watched encourages conformity. This conformity becomes prevalent because any thought or behaviour which may invite attention or judgement or condemnation is stifled. Without privacy there is no longer the freedom to choose and the distinction between citizen and slave fades; democracy itself dies.

This is how tyrannies ensure that people remain subservient and subordinate.

The role of a democratic government is to serve its people; a tyranny retains its power through any means necessary. As we move from persecuting a criminal to preventing a thought crime the closer we move towards the abyss of a totalitarian state.

To truly judge how free a society is look to how they treat their critics and dissidents rather than their ‘loyal’ unquestioning subjects. This sort of intrusive large-scale surveillance is designed to intimidate any form of activism, criticism and dissent which then removes any form of accountability for those in power; Orwell’s vision realised.

This petition demands a debate in Parliament to examine the implications of GCHQ’s ‘Tempora’ program, for the government and GCHQ’s legal advice on this program to be reviewed, and for a full public consultation and possible inquiry on the implications of this program and impact on the individuals’ human rights and right to privacy under both UK and EU law.

No comments: