Loz Kaye

party: Pirate Party UK
constituency: Manchester Central

back to candidate list

How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

I, and the Pirate Party, have been campaigning hard against this assault on our civil liberties for years now. As we know from the Snowden revelations the UK has rolled out a vast surveillance programme, with GCHQ being one of the worst global offenders. Recently UK-US electronic communications interception was found to be illegal.

This is one of the main issues I want to put on the agenda for the General Election as it affects us all.

In short, yes, I would fight for all the measures you ask for.

I would:
Require an end to warrantless mass surveillance
Oppose the return of the Communications Data Bill (AKA “Snoopers' Charter”)
Support a thorough overhaul of all intercept legislation to respect privacy
Push for proper oversight and that warrants aren't just rubber stamped
Have an parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee that is truly critical and on the side of citizens

As for my views on this issue-

I think it is disgraceful how we have been misled as a public, we were told that the death of the Snoopers' Charter would curtail blanket interception, but from what we know now thanks to Snowden that simply isn't the case.
Far from keeping us safe, this massive intrusion is flooding too much information and potentially squandering £2.5 billion over a decade on communication that is simply useless in the fight against terrorism.
It is a very dangerous shift in the attitude of government to all of us- it turns us all from citizens in to suspects.

Finally, I think it can have a chilling effect on democracy. After all, it's now possible for GCHQ to access the fact you have emailed a prominent anti-mass surveillance campaigner.

Labour started the ball rolling on the mass surveillance state, the Tories and LibDems have continued it.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

Yes.
It's vital that libel law is not used to stifle free speech.