Government spying on us?

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The government has just announced a plan to spy on us all, to be pushed through “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.

[1]They want to see details of who we call, text and email, and which websites we visit – without any kind of warrant or reason. They want to force phone and internet companies to install special devices to provide all this data on each and every one of us.

[2]Experts are lining up to condemn this idea as intrusive, expensive and ineffective. [

3] But we know that when the Labour government announced similar plans a few years ago, a huge outcry was needed to make them to back down.

[4]So let’s build a massive petition right away, to show David Cameron that British citizens simply won’t put up with the government spying on their every move. Please click here to add your name now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/stop-the-snooping-plan

A final version of the plan is due to be announced in just one month’s time.

[5]We need to move fast if we’re to get this scrapped before then. A big petition right now could persuade David Cameron to rethink before he commits too deeply. His officials will report the rising number of signatures to him. And they will warn him that he can expect voters to challenge him every step of the way.

MPs from different political parties are already expressing unease.

[6] One prominent Conservative MP, former shadow Home Secretary David Davis, has been in touch with the 38 Degrees office to say: “These plans would give the state huge new powers to snoop on ordinary people. They’d be expensive, unnecessary, and a huge invasion of everybody’s privacy. If they are to be stopped, public pressure will be critical – including from 38 Degrees members”.

Add your name to the petition today:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/stop-the-snooping-plan

David Cameron claims this will make us safer. But this is about spying on all of us, not serious criminals. It’s already perfectly possible for the government to monitor people suspected of serious crimes, with proper permission and oversight.

[7] And serious criminals will inevitably find ways to hide their online identities.

Most importantly, this isn’t the kind of Britain we want to live in. We shouldn’t respond to criminals by abandoning our principles and scrapping basic civil liberties. We shouldn’t treat every citizen like a potential criminal who needs to be monitored. Help stand up for our right to privacy when we browse the internet or phone our friends – please sign the petition and spread the word now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/stop-the-snooping-plan

Thanks for using your voice,

Marie, Cian, David, Hannah, Becky, James and the 38 Degrees

PS: This plan would be like demanding the Royal Mail keep a copy of every single letter it handles. It’s exactly the kind of thing this government announced with a fanfare that they wouldn’t do. If we let them get away with this, what comes next? ID cards? Long-term detention without trial? Sign the petition to put a stop to the government’s snooping plans now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/stop-the-snooping-plan

PPS: 38 Degrees members have been voting on whether to continue our campaign to protect the NHS. 96% voted yes to continuing to campaign! You can read an update on what will happen next, here:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-yes-vote-blog

NOTES
[1] Telegraph: Internet activity ‘to be monitored’ under new laws http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9179087/Internet-activity-to-be-monitored-under-new-laws.html
[2] Telegraph: New powers to record every phone call and email makes surveillance ’60m times worse’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9180191/New-powers-to-record-every-phone-call-and-email-makes-surveillance-60m-times-worse.html
[3] Independent: Backlash over plans to monitor all internet use http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/backlash-over-plans-to-monitor-all-internet-use-7609010.html and Times: Internet law will be a ‘honeypot’ for snoopers http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3372450.ece
[4] BBC: Warning over need for safeguards in email and web monitoring plan http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17580906
[5] The plans are currently expected to be confirmed in the Queen’s Speech on 9 May. The Queen’s Speech is the formal occasion where the government outlines its plans for the coming session of parliament.
[6] Guardian: Email surveillance plans face Lib Dem rebellion http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/02/email-surveillance-lib-dem-rebellion
[7] Telegraph: Web survelliance: Q&A http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9180277/Web-surveillance-QandA.html

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