Target: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron
Goal: Stop emergency surveillance legislation
On July 10, 2014, the United Kingdom passed an emergency surveillance legislation that instead of reducing the government’s surveillance powers, has made them stronger. Residents of the United Kingdom and those outside of the country will still be under surveillance, regardless of their rights to privacy. This mistreatment of people needs to stop, and it can only be halted by you.
The new legislation will replace laws that were nullified when the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that such high levels of surveillance breached citizens’ rights to privacy. The new legislation does not address provisions laid down by the court and even broadens the government’s surveillance powers. Despite evidence that the United Kingdom has conducted mass surveillance of its people and those overseas, the government refuses to acknowledge privacy rights. Whereas the United States government is addressing this issue, the United Kingdom has remained silent.
The legislation states that internet and phone companies are required to collect metadata on all of their customers and store it for twelve months. It also allows intelligence and law enforcement to access these records, with no scrutiny. Because the bill has a short time frame, parliament and the general public have little time to consider it. The previous bill was struck down because it violated the people’s rights, and given a second chance to amend such violations, the United Kingdom is simply strengthening its position. The people need to tell the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom that this conduct is morally wrong and this legislation should be struck down immediately.
Dear David Cameron,
Recently, the United Kingdom drafted a bill that broadens the government’s surveillance powers. Despite a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union striking down the previous law, your government has decided to put forth a bill that violates a person’s right to privacy. This new bill does not carry the provisions set forth by the court, and tells me that the United Kingdom will not respect the rights of its citizens.
I am urging you to drop this legislation at once. While the United States has understood the impact of massive surveillance, and are amending their ways, the United Kingdom has yet to do this. Either revoke this legislation, or change it to a place where it respects the rights of the people. The United States has not found anything incriminating in their surveillance operations, and neither has the United Kingdom. As a leader, you should respect the rights of your people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hustvedt via Wikimedia Commons