In June 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the shocking extent of government mass surveillance networks across the world. His disclosure of top secret documents ultimately led U.K. home secretary, Theresa May, to propose the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. On Wednesday morning, a series of tweets from Snowden warned the communications data covered by the legislation is “the activity log of your life.”
Last month, Anti-Media covered the U.K. government’s proposed new spying laws. The blanket mass surveillance will enable storage of web users’ activity, including social media, for at least 12 months under the new Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Spies will have increased access over private data, including the ability to remotely hack and download information stored on our phones and computers. The new draft legally obliges internet service providers in the U.K. to assist in bypassing security measures that would otherwise prevent security services from accessing your phone.
The U.K. government is granting itself the power to look into everyone’s personal life whenever they like by using powers ripe for abuse. This private data can be used to target journalists, persecute activists, profile and discriminate against minorities, and crack down on free speech.
On Thursday, Tory MP Richard Graham was accused of quoting Nazi propaganda while speaking in favour of the new Snoopers Charter in the House of Commons. Defending the government’s bill, the Conservative MP for Gloucester clumsily quoted a statement widely-attributed to Nazi mouthpiece Joseph Goebbels by declaring “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
Snowden has previously obliterated the nothing to hide argument, and prior to Graham’s outburst, took to Twitter to slam Britain’s breathtaking new measures.
The U.K.’s major extension of mass surveillance powers — and simultaneous undermining of individual privacy — treats everyone like criminals and tramples fundamental rights. For those still confused as to who the data harvesting will protect, perhaps this image from human rights watchdog Privacy International will help to clarify: