Saturday, 11 July 2015
Our concerns about mass surveillance are not limited to human rights organizations. Mass surveillance is invasive and a dangerous overreach of government power into our private lives and freedom of expression. In specific circumstances it can also put lives at risk, be used to discredit people or interfere with investigations into human rights violations by governments.We have good reason to believe that the British government is interested in our work. Over the past few years we have investigated possible war crimes by U.K. and U.S. forces in Iraq, Western government involvement in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, and the callous killing of civilians by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. It was recently revealed that GCHQ may have provided assistance for U.S. drone attacks.
The obfuscation, secrecy and determination to avoid any meaningful oversight is worthy of a tin-pot dictatorship. It is time for serious public scrutiny of the behavior of the British government. We need to know what surveillance programs the government is operating, what spying they consider to be fair game, and why.