At Cybersalon on 25th March 2014, the audience voted on solving the surveillance problem between these options:
1. Encryption and technical solutions
2. Independent technology solutions (away from free data business models)
3. Using the law to put our data under our control
The audience voted for the the third option: using the law.
To do this, we encourage everyone to write to their local MP. This may sound old-fashioned, but it’s the only way this process can start.
1. Find your MP here (uses your postcode) or here
If you’re not registered to vote for local and EU elections, register here. (For all EU ctizens)
2. Send them a copy of our example letter to your MP (see below), in your name. You may send this by email or by post.
We thank you for your active participation in changing things!
NAME OF YOUR MP
NAME OF YOUR BOROUGH
House of Commons
Dear NAME OF MP
It is some time since I have written to you. On this occasion I don’t expect a response but wanted to express my views on the data surveillance issues that have come to light, in particularly with Edward Snowden’s revelations.
If we are the State we must de facto be trusted. The citizen should and must be trusted be default. No society can make real progress when it’s members are considered untrustworthy by the State.
Of course this creates risks, that an unsurveilled citizen will commit a crime against the people. For me, I accept this risk, as freedom, and our other historic social achievements, are worth sacrifices to achieve and and as a consequence of their existence. Historically British society has also accepted these sacrifices; to the extent it doesn’t today we have other questions to ask.
I lived through the last wave of IRA bombings in London, and through 7/7, and consider the inevitable ‘abuses’ of freedom from surveillance, and the default of trust by the state, still to be worth enduring.
And in reality, these are not security or surveillance issues, but political and social issues, and that is how they need to be addressed.