I’ve just written to my MP, Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat, Bermondsey and Old Southwark), airing my feelings about the Government’s hasty and ill-advised bill to track email, web and Skype communications of any citizen without just cause. A copy of my letter is included below. If you live in the UK and have strong feelings too, you can write your own MP via They Work For You.
Dear Mr Hughes,
I am writing to you to express my fervent opposition to proposed Government plans to allow the Government Communications Headquarters to monitor the email and web communication of ordinary citizens, without a warrant. This a shocking breach of privacy – and even if it advances our security interests by a few degrees, it surely cannot be worth the cost to our dignity as a civilized society.
I can only echo what Davis Davis wrote in the Sun on this issue, as quoted by the BBC news website: “We already have a law which lets the secret services eavesdrop on suspected criminals and terrorists. The new law does not focus on terrorists or criminals. It would instead allow civil servants to monitor every innocent, ordinary person in Britain, and all without a warrant. If they want to see all this information they should be willing to put their case before a judge or magistrate. This will force them to focus on the real terrorists rather than turning Britain into a nation of suspects.”
I do hope I can count on your support.
Dr Jennifer Rohn
Principle Research Associate, Department of Medicine, University College London