Home / Writing / TEMPLATE FOR WRITING TO YOUR MP ON CHANGING SURVEILLANCE LAWS
howtowritetoyourMP

TEMPLATE FOR WRITING TO YOUR MP ON CHANGING SURVEILLANCE LAWS

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
SW1A0AA London

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.

Yours sincerely

YOUR NAME

Download (DOC, 26KB)

About cybersalon

3 comments

  1. It’s a small tragedy that the letter template completely concedes the game in stating – “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.” As someone who campaigned against the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act (Temporary Provisions)’ and all it’s permanent successors this almost sums up the stasis in uncovering exposing and dismantling the state of unfreedom and control of politics in the UK. This is a bigger point politically than all the necessary encryption and defence of privacy that is also necessary.

    • Tim: This letter was based on a letter I sent to my MP, Mark Field and – while it could be better drafted – I am not sure about your criticism. I was not accepting the unfreedom represented by the PTA and related legislation. Rather I was putting the case for society being prepared to take risks and needing to be robust in the face of terrorism. I also note that surveillance and policing are not the appropriate level at which to address such phenomena. And I agree that the focus on privacy and protection from surveillance is a narrow and somewhat particularlist focus which also needs to be challenged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>