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Emma Carr | Big Brother Watch

LGA opposition to CCTV parking fine ban is about money, not public safety

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in CCTV, Civil Liberties, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, Councils, Surveillance | 5 Comments

At the end of 2013, we wrote about the Government’s plans to ban CCTV parking cameras, meaning that only traffic wardens and police would be able to film vehicles breaking the law. The Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation asking whether CCTV parking cameras should be banned, in reaction to many councils who, rather than focusing on specific parking infringements, have taken the brazen approach of using CCTV cars to indiscriminately spy on drivers. …

The IOCC report finds institutional overuse of powers and woefully inadequate record keeping

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 2 Comments

The Interception of Communications Commissioner has published his annual report highlighting the way that surveillance powers, provided under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, are used. This report is a marked improvement on the quality and quantity of information that has been presented in the past, highlighting that it is certainly possible to be more transparent about how surveillance powers are used without jeapordising security. Yet there is much more than can and should be done to reassure the …

Reaction to ECJ ruling on data retention

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | 2 Comments

Comment on ECJ ruling that the Data Retention Directive is invalid Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This is a landmark case. It is a basic principle of a free society that you don’t monitor people who are not under suspicion. The EU’s data retention laws privatised snooping and meant companies were paid by governments to record what we were doing and were required to store those records for a year. The Snoopers Charter has been rejected …

Poll shows more than half of internet users are afraid of expressing their opinions online

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 3 Comments

A new poll has highlighted that a worryingly high number of internet users have a lack of confidence in the ability to speak freely online without threat of censorship or surveillance We have been concerned about lack of confidence that internet users have in their privacy and freedom of expression for some time, with our own 2013 Global Attitudes to Privacy Online Survey highlighting that 79% globally said they were concerned about their privacy online. A survey conducted by BBC …

Response to announcement that HMRC is to get new powers to access bank accounts when tax is owed

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | 1 Comment

Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Today the taxman has to go to court to size your money. Now he’ll be able to do it with a click of a mouse. People won’t object to HRMC having legal powers to pursue people who owe them money but they shouldn’t be able to do it without any independent oversight. “At a time when the Government is looking to reign in the number of public officials who can enter …

Home Secretary launches public inquiry into the use of undercover police

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 2 Comments

The independent inquiry by Mark Ellison QC, which was established to review the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, has revealed “wrong-headed and inappropriate” use of undercover policing. The conclusions of the review make it very clear that there was an “extraordinary level of secrecy” at play. The Home Secretary, who has described the findings of the review as “deeply troubling”, has been a leading force behind the review into the case of Stephen Lawrence and is to be applauded for her …

Response to Deputy Prime Minister’s Speech on Surveillance

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | Leave a comment

Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The Deputy Prime Minister remains the only party leader to address these major issues head on and he should be applauded for doing so. With the Shadow Home Secretary and the  Deputy Prime Minister recognising that the existing legal framework governing surveillance is not fit for purpose it is clear that no new snooping powers should be considered until these critical issues for our privacy and the digital economy have been …

Response to Shadow Home Secretary’s speech on surveillance

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | Leave a comment

Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: “There is a broad political consensus emerging that the existing legal framework is not up to the job of protecting our privacy. The Shadow Home Secretary has finally joined those calling for a comprehensive review of surveillance law and it is essential that Labour set out their policy on what sort of review they will undertake if people are not to see this as a hollow gesture. It would be reckless …

Briefing Note: Consumer Rights Bill – Data Amendment

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Big Brother Watch has issued a briefing note on the Consumer Rights Bill, with specific emphasis on a proposed amendment which will ensure consumers will be able to access data quickly, easily, and in a usable, digital format. It is hoped that the Consumer Rights Bill will ensure that more emphasis is placed on the importance of transparency and data security. It is right that individuals should have more power to question organisations and be provided with information that is …

State Appointed Guardians for Every Child in Scotland

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 8 Comments

Last week the Scottish Government passed a staggeringly disproportionate piece of legislation that may see thousands of innocent families lives intruded upon by public sector busybodies. Despite opposition from the public, church leaders, legal experts, MSPs and civil liberties groups, the Children and Young People Act was passed in Scotland. This new piece of legislation now means from birth until the age of 18, every child in Scotland will have a specific state-appointed ‘guardian’ to safeguard their interests and oversee …

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