Surveillance, whistleblowing and free speech
Duncan Campbell, investigative journalist
Pam Cowburn, Communications Director, Open Rights Group
Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship
Rachel Oldroyd, Managing Editor, Bureau of Investigative Journalism
In September, it was revealed that the Met police had accessed the phone records of The Sun’s Political Editor, Tom Newton-Dunn, without his knowledge. By using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to do this, they circumvented journalistic privilege to protect sources established in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Since then, it has become known that a number of other forces have used RIPA in this way. To what extent are the police and security services using surveillance laws to access journalists’ records? And what is the impact on investigative journalism, whistleblowing and free speech?
“Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?”
Merrick Badger, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance
Chair: Milena Popova, blogger, campaigner and ORG Board member
Eleanor Saitta, nomadic hacker, artist and designer
Erin Saltman, Quilliam Foundation
Güneş Tavmen, Turkish Internet rights expert
When the Snowden revelations broke, Foreign Secretary William Hague said, ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. This line has been repeatedly used to justify mass surveillance by the state. But does this argument actually seek to disguise the fact that surveillance means that all citizens are perceived as potential criminals, undermining the presumption of innocence that is at the heart of our legal justice system. Security and rights experts and those who have been under surveillance come together to discuss the implications of this defence, how it is used to undermine political activism and whether it is ever true.
Taking legal action to protect your rights: Data retention & Privacy Not Prism
Dan Carey, solicitor, Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors
Elizabeth Knight, Legal Director, Open Rights Group
ORG is taking the Government to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge its surveillance practices and enforce our right to privacy. Along with fellow rights organisations we are pursuing legal action on behalf of all Internet users. We dispute the use by GCHQ of data from the US’s PRISM programme, as well as GCHQ’s TEMPORA programme, under which the Government is alleged to tap into the sub-ocean cables and sift through that data. Our solicitor bringing the case, Dan Carey, will discuss the legal battle. This is not the only legal action ORG is taking to combat surveillance. After the EU Court of Justice’s decision that blanket data retention was unlawful, the UK Government rushed through ‘emergency’ legislation which ignored the court’s findings and which we believe breaches our fundamental rights. Find out what ORG has been doing to fight data retention.
Global perspectives on digital rights
Jillian C. York, Director for International Freedom of Expression,
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Amelia Andersdotter, former Pirate Party MEP
Eric King, Deputy Director, Privacy International
What are the global trends when it comes to digital rights? Which countries are protecting our rights to privacy and free speech online? Which are pushing back? And what can we learn from successful campaigns by international civil society groups? Director of the Don’t Spy on Us campaign, Mike Harris, asks Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C York, former Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter and Privacy International’s Eric King to give their perspective on what is happening with digital rights at an international level.