It is very difficult to interrogate the legality of a programme of surveillance, when the people having done it, refuse to acknowledge it happened. The UK programme, called 'TEMPORA' has been a bone of contention since the start of these proceedings. GCHQ refuses to acknowledge that it exists, despite tacitly acknowledging it exists, by defending the legal basis for its existence.
And so their watch continues. Last week's news confirmed what we already knew, courtesy of Edward Snowden - that UK intelligence services have been intercepting our private messages on email and social media networks, supposedly with the backing of the law and in the name of national defence...
On this anniversary, I want to salute the bravery of Edward Snowden. His conscious courage has given us all a fighting chance against a corporate-industrial-intelligence complex that is running amok across the world. I hope that we can all find within us an answering courage to do what is right and indeed take back our rights. His bravery and sacrifice must not be in vain.
Just as Ayn Rand's Roark subversively demolishes the Corlandt building after promises are broken and his designs changed, these artists are undermining a society that no longer functions for the benefit of the common people. Their art not only brings home the reality of today's surveillance state, but asks, do we have to live this this?
owever powerful the pressure to conform, to take the cheque and keep quiet, there will always be those who, moved by injustice, will speak out. But it counts for little, unless we all speak out together.
The Edward Snowden revelations exposed the possibility that state surveillance may have intruded into the lives of UK citizens... It would appear that slowly our politicians are beginning to wake up to this serious issue and daring to ask questions of the intelligence establishment.
It was British ingenuity that led to the development of the World Wide Wide 25 years ago today and unfortunately it appears British guile will be responsible for its possible demise. The hopeful beginnings of the Web have turned sour.
This is an important issue, which we need to examine, and which affects the lives of almost everyone in the country. Are we comfortable with the way in which our personal data is collected, and who has access to it? How much does our right to privacy matter, in an age where we share photos and personal details online with so much abandon? What is the balance that needs to be struck between security and liberty?
Angela Merkel's call yesterday for a European network "so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic" is hardly surprising given the revelations of how German and other European citizens have had their data indiscriminately collected as they use web services based overseas.
The Internet- a playground for millions across the world- is increasingly at risk from perceived American cyber bullying.
At Amnesty we work with people that quite literally put their lives on the line in exposing human rights abuses. They often do so at great risks to themselves and their families and it is vital that the space for confidential communications is protected and respected. This is why it is critical that the UK government delivers a full open and transparent investigation into our concerns.
For those who do genuinely love this country and its democratic traditions, the options for redress seem increasingly narrow. In the words of Owen Jones, "if the state starts prosecuting journalists for holding power to account, let's take to the streets".
Seeing the spy chiefs' questions in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee threw up one clear question for me: was this really a proper public inquiry into the outrageous bugging of heads of states around the globe, or was it a cynical PR exercise?
It's a matter of supreme irony that The Daily Mail choose the same week in which they condemned the Royal Charter on Press Regulation as censorship, to invoke the language of McCarthy against a fellow newspaper.
It's not often that top spooks emerge from the shadows, and on those rare occasions when they do, they tend to choose their words very, very carefully. That's why we need to be just as careful when we examine what they say...
First published on RT Op-Edge. The disparity in response to Edward Snowden's disclosures within the USA and the UK is astonishing. In the face of ri...