DON’T SPY ON US

In June 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US and UK intelligence agencies had built mass surveillance programmes that were spying on the world’s digital communications. In the UK, GCHQ had used loopholes in the law to allow this. Now a new law, the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), will legitimise these activities and extend surveillance even further. Don't Spy On Us is calling for an end to mass surveillance, which violates our privacy and chills free speech across the globe.

TAKE ACTION
TAKE ACTION
AGAINST
MASS STATE SURVEILLANCE

Don't Spy On Us is a coalition of the most influential organisations who defend privacy, free expression and digital rights in the UK and in Europe. We've come together to fight back against the mass state surveillance that Edward Snowden exposed. Don't Spy On Us is calling for an end to mass surveillance in line with our six principles. We want new legislation that will mean: surveillance is only targeted at those suspected of crimes; the security agencies are accountable to our elected representatives; and judges not politicians will decide when surveillance is justified.

Inquiries into mass surveillance

Following the launch of Don't Spy On Us, a series of major inquiries was announced in response to the public and civil society’s demand for greater transparency. All concluded that the law needs wholesale reform. Don’t Spy on Us published a report outlining where there is consensus to reform the law in the UK and how this could provide a framework for forthcoming primary legislation.

The Investigatory Powers Bill

In November, the Government published the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which would put the capabilities revealed by Snowden into the statute books and increase the state's surveillance powers. Three committees scrutinised the Bill and made a total of 123 recommendations – read our summary of their findings here. Instead of completely rewriting the Bill, the Government published a barely changed revised version just two weeks after the last Committee reported. They are now trying to rush it through Parliament. Don’t Spy on Us is challenging this law.

Support these key principles:
1
NO SURVEILLANCE
WITHOUT SUSPICION

Mass surveillance must end. Surveillance is only legitimate when it is targeted, authorised by a warrant, and is necessary and proportionate.

2
TRANSPARENT LAWS,
NOT SECRET LAWS

The Government is using secret agreements and abusing archaic laws. We need a clear legal framework governing surveillance to protect our rights.

3
JUDICIAL NOT POLITICAL
AUTHORISATION

Ministers should not have the power to authorise surveillance. All surveillance should be sanctioned by an independent judge on a case-by-case basis.

4
EFFECTIVE DEMOCRATIC
OVERSIGHT

Parliament has failed to hold the intelligence agencies to account. Parliamentary oversight must be independent of the executive, properly resourced, and able to command public confidence through regular reporting and public sessions.

5
THE RIGHT
TO REDRESS

Innocent people have had their rights violated. Everyone should have the right to challenge surveillance in an open court.

6
A SECURE WEB
FOR ALL

Weakening the general security and privacy of communications systems erodes protections for everyone, and undermines trust in digital services. Secret operations by government agencies should be targeted, and not attack widely used technologies, protocols and standards.

Sign to Support the principles
Why support us?

Don't Spy On Us is calling for an end to mass surveillance in line with our six principles. We want new legislation that will mean: surveillance is only targeted at those suspected of crimes; the security agencies are accountable to our elected representatives; and judges not politicians will decide when surveillance is justified. Please sign up our principles and get updates from the campaign.

Why should I sign?

> Surveillance should be targeted at those who are suspected of crimes
> Legislation should not be rushed through parliament without a proper public debate about the state’s powers.
> It's illegal. The international legal framework on this is clear. Mass or blanket 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.
What should I tell my MP?

> MPs should call for surveillance in line with the Don't Spy On Us six principles
> Judges not Ministers should sign off surveillance warrants.
> Parliament must do a better job of holding the intelligence agencies to account.

About us

Don't Spy On Us is a coalition of the most influential organisations who defend privacy, free expression and digital rights in the UK and in Europe.

We've come together to fight back against the system of unfettered mass state surveillance that Edward Snowden exposed. Right now, the UK’s intelligence services are conducting mass surveillance that violates the right to privacy of internet users and chills freedom of expression.

The current laws haven't stopped the intelligence services expanding their reach into our private lives. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill will not restrain them – it will extend the powers of the police and security services. Don't Spy On Us is calling for new legislation that will make the spooks accountable to our elected representatives, put an end to mass surveillance in line with our 6 principles and let judges not the Home Secretary decide when spying is justified.

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