Who We Are

Big Brother Watch was founded in 2009 with the intention of exposing the true scale of the surveillance state by challenging the policies which threaten our privacy, our freedoms and our civil liberties.

Big Brother Watch campaigns on behalf of the individual, to educate and encourage more control over personal data. We work to ensure that those who fail to respect our privacy, whether private companies, government departments or local authorities are held to account.

We produce unique research which shines a light on the dramatic expansion of surveillance powers in the UK, the growth of the database state and the misuse of personal information. Our briefings are regularly cited in Parliament, in government reports and in the national media.

Protecting individual privacy and defending civil liberties, Big Brother Watch is a campaign group for the digital age.

Renate Samson

Renate has been the Chief Executive of Big Brother Watch since November 2014. Since joining she has overseen our work on the Investigatory Powers Bill, data sharing, big data, surveillance cameras and issues regarding the internet of things. She speaks regularly about these subjects and more at conferences, on TV, radio and in the press.
Prior to joining the organisation she was Chief of Staff to Rt Hon David Davis MP with whom she worked for five years, predominantly on his civil liberties campaigns. Before working in Parliament, Renate made television documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Sky and other international broadcasters.
Renate has a particular interest in connected technologies and what impact digital citizenry has on society.

Daniel Nesbitt

Dan joined Big Brother Watch after a spell of working at Politics Home.
Dan has risen through the ranks of Big Brother Watch and is now the organisation’s Research Director. He is responsible for the research and creation of all our unique research and freedom of information reports. Research papers and reports Dan has created include data breaches in the police, NHS and local authorities, the rise and fall of CCTV, powers of entry by council officials, the outdated laws controlling social media prosecutions and police access to communications data.
Dan can often be spotted providing commentary on TV and in the press and giving insight into our research on panel discussions and at public events.

Henry Compson

Henry joined Big Brother Watch as Digital Campaigns Manager in 2016. Prior to working for the organisation, he served as Digital and Press Officer for Caroline Pidgeon’s London Mayoral campaign. Before working for Caroline, Henry spent two years as a Campaign Organiser for the Liberal Democrats. He is particularly interested in digital rights and limiting the Government’s use of internet surveillance.
In his spare time, Henry can often be found cycling with Dulwich Paragon or supporting Fulham Football Club and the Seattle Seahawks.

Advisory Council

Heather Brooke:
Freedom of information campaigner and Professor of Journalism at City University, London
Emma Carr:
Account Director, Hanover Communications
John Cooper QC:
Barrister specialising in Human Rights and Criminal Law
Alex Deane:
Managing Director and Head of Public Affairs Strategic Communications at FTI Consulting
Sir Chris Fox:
Former president of the Association of Chief Police Officers
Mark Littlewood:
Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs
Nick Pickles:
UK Public Policy Manager, Twitter
Henry Porter:
Author and journalist
Richard Smith:
Co-founder of Big Brother Watch
Lord Strasburger:
Liberal Democrat Peer
Lord Vinson LVO DL:
Conservative peer


We’re proud to have worked with some incredibly talented and committed people since we were established.

  • Emma Carr
  • Alex Deane
  • Maria Fort
  • Ellie Gummer
  • Daniel Hamilton
  • Andrew McGrath
  • Nick Pickles
  • Dylan Sharpe