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Don’t let the Snoopers’ Charter bounce back

online surveillance imageIn the Queen’s Speech the Government announced it’s going to introduce an Investigatory Powers Bill (news passim). This is the new Snoopers’ Charter and will more than likely comprise even greater powers for the police and GCHQ to spy on British citizens. (Will the Government’s longer term aim of a British Bill of Rights comprise the right to be spied upon by the State? Ed.)

This is the fifth time a UK Government has tried to bring in a Snoopers’ Charter. The Home Office wants to give the police and intelligence services even more powers to look at what Brits do and who they talk to.

Do Britons really want to live in a country where all their communications are monitored by the State?

Precise details of the Home Office’s plans but there might be an attack on the encryption technology that helps keep our emails and online banking and shopping secure.

The police and intelligence services should concentrate on targeting people suspected of crimes instead of collecting everyone’s data all of the time.

It’s unclear whether the Home Office’s collect-it-all approach is effective or giving taxpayers value for money. The perpetrators of heinous crimes like the murder of Lee Rigby and the Charlie Hebdo attack were already known to the British and French intelligence services respectively, but those services decided to stop monitoring them due to lack of resources.

ORG logoOur friends over at the Open Rights Group (ORG) have set up a petition to campaign against the revived Snoopers’ Charter.

The text of the petition reads:

We demand an end to indiscriminate retention, collection and analysis of everyone’s Internet communications, regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

We want the police and intelligence agencies to have powers that are effective and genuinely protect our privacy and freedom of speech.

Sign the petition.

The ORG will also be organising a lobby day soon so supporters can go to Parliament, get a briefing about the Bill and then talk to their MPs.