About Big Brother Watch

Who We Are

Big Brother Watch was founded by Matthew Elliott 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, Chief Executive Big Brother Watch

Renate Samson

Renate joined Big Brother Watch as Chief Executive in November 2014. She is former Chief of Staff to Rt Hon David Davis MP with whom she worked for five years predominantly on his civil liberties campaigns such as the Snoopers Charter, NHS data sharing, protection for whistleblowers, Reform Section 5 and the DRIP Bill. Prior to working in Parliament, Renate produced documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Sky and other international broadcasters.

Emma Carr, Director Big Brother Watch

Emma Carr

Emma joined Big Brother Watch as Deputy Director in February 2012 and was appointed as Director in August 2014. Previously, she worked for political campaign and research groups. Emma has a MSc in Public Services Policy and Management from King’s College London. She has a particular interest in cyber security and cyber crime, which formed the topic of her dissertation.

Daniel Nesbitt, Research Director Big Brother Watch

Daniel Nesbitt

Daniel joined Big Brother Watch as an intern in December 2012, he quickly became an essential part of the team and was promoted to Researcher in March 2013 and Research Director in August 2014. Before working at Big Brother Watch he interned at Politics Home.

Advisory Council

Heather Brooke:
Freedom of information campaigner and Professor of Journalism at City University, London
Rt Hon David Davis MP:
Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden
Alex Deane:
Managing Director and Head of Public Affairs Strategic Communications at FTI Consulting
Matthew Elliott, Chairman:
Founder of Big Brother Watch, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Business for Britain, and former Campaign Director of NO2AV
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
Dominic Raab MP:
Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton
Richard Smith:
Co-founder of Big Brother Watch
Lord Strasburger:
Peer and member of the Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data Bill
Lord Vinson LVO DL:
Conservative peer


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

  • Alex Deane
  • Maria Fort
  • Ellie Gummer
  • Daniel Hamilton
  • Nick Pickles
  • Dylan Sharpe