Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Letter To Sarah Teather MP In Support Of Don't Spy On Us

I just signed the Don't Spy On Us petition as part of the Day We Fight Back campaign (UK branch), and if you are in the UK I urge you to do the same.

After signing the petition I wrote the following letter to my MP, Sarah Teather:

Dear Sarah Teather,

I am writing to you as a constituent who is deeply concerned about recent revelations regarding mass surveillance by GCHQ.

It is clear that mass surveillance contravenes Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) and Article 10 (the right to freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Current legislation on the subject appears to leave us in a position where GCHQ are not required to say how much data they are collecting or for what reason. We therefore cannot know the legality of their operations. This is not acceptable to me; I wonder if it is acceptable to you.

The six principles of the Don't Spy On Us campaign are these:

1 - No surveillance without suspicion
2 - Transparent laws, not secret laws
3 - Judicial not political authorisation
4 - Effective democratic oversight
5 - The right to redress
6 - A secure web for all

I have three specific questions for you, as follows:

1 - Do you support the six principles of Don't Spy On Us?
2 - Regardless of 1), what will you do, as my MP, in order to get Parliament to do a better job of holding the intelligence agencies to account?
3 - Will you support an independent inquiry to report before the next general election with proposals on legislative reform in this area?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,


Wayne Myers

Since the 'email your MP' bit of the page didn't work for me, I had to use writetothem.com instead, but that worked fine.

I've written to Sarah Teather before and - whatever else you may think of her - she is an extremely conscientious constituency MP and always replies eventually. It will be interesting to see what her reply is in this case.

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