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GUEST POST: Big Brother Watch is here

September 8th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

big-brotherOn Sunday, Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance announced the upcoming launch of ‘Big Brother Watch’ – a new campaigning group for civil liberties and personal freedom.

Big Brother Watch will be built along the same lines as the TPA. There has been some great work done in this field already by groups such as Liberty and No2ID, but we believe there is a niche to be filled.

In the same manner in which the TPA has pioneered the use of the Freedom of Information Act to bring transparency to government spending and expose the full horrors of the appalling abuse of taxpayer funds, we will use these techniques to unearth the hidden reality of the big brother state.

We hope that the reports produced and campaigns that Big Brother Watch supports will help push the issues of personal freedom and civil liberty that directly affect ordinary British citizens up the political agenda.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of residents living in flats in Torquay complained of having their homes turned into the ‘Big Brother house’ when it was revealed that up to 112 cameras, at a cost of more than £375,000, had been installed outside their front doors and in their stairwells.

And earlier this year, Tim Joyce and Jenny Paton were amazed to learn that Poole Borough Council had employed someone to watch their house and monitor their daily movements because it had suspected them of lying about their home address in order to get their daughter into an over-subscribed local school.

Over the past ten years the surveillance state has been encroaching ever further into our everyday lives, creating criminals out of good citizens. From the extortionate rise in CCTV cameras to regular snooping on phone calls and emails – the British government has been steadily removing our right to privacy.

This is why it is time to fight back. We intend to name and shame the local authorities that have strayed unacceptably into areas of personal freedom, regardless of political hue.

We will champion individual cases and use the legal system to help the man on the street fight injustice and regain their personal freedom and civil liberty.

We are already researching the use of the ECHR and other laws that give people the right to find out what information the government holds on them and we are building a legal fund to support those who have found themselves at the mercy of our overbearing state.

We feel that Britain is at a crucial point and, as more and more of our personal data is transferred across the internet and held on computers, there has never been a more important time for us to stand up and face down the measures which threaten our civil liberty.

For updates on our battle against the illiberal encroachment of government, simply click here and enter your e-mail address.

Dylan Sharpe is Campaign Director of Big Brother Watch

2 Responses to “GUEST POST: Big Brother Watch is here”

  1. Watching Them, Watching Us Says:

    Why exactly should anybody who cares about civil liberties and personal freedom, which have been suppressed by the current Labour Government (and to a lesser extent, the previous Conservative one) , support Yet Another Campaign Organisation, rather than existing ones like:

    * NO2ID Campaign,
    * Privacy International,
    * GeneWatch UK ,
    * Open Rights Group,
    * Foundation for Information Policy Research,
    * Action on Rights for Children,
    * Liberty Human Rights
    etc. ?

    Wouldn’t financial donors be better off contributing to these existing, experienced and very effective campaign organisations instead ?

  2. burkesworks Says:

    I smell the dead hand of Tory opportunism here. I assume Dylan Sharpe is the Dylan Sharpe who acted as Boris’s press officer in his mayoral campaign, while Alex Deane is a Conservative with downright illiberal and authoritarian views on many things. To trust the curtain-twitching Mail readers of the TPA with civil liberties would be like letting Russell Brand loose in a convent school sixth form dormitory. The SpyBlog correspondent above has it absolutely right.