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Emma Carr | Big Brother Watch

Support the right for journalists to protect their sources

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Lord Strasburger, Big Brother Watch’s advisory council member, has tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill which would stop the police from being able to access journalists’ phone records to identify their sources without permission from a judge. The amendment is to be debated on Tuesday, and we are calling on you to contact members of the House of Lords to ask them to lend it their support. You can find a directory of Lords here. Supporting the amendment, …

Off The Record: How the police use surveillance powers

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Research and reports | 2 Comments

Today we are publishing a reporthighlighting the true scale of police forces’ use of surveillance powers. The report comes at a time when the powers have faced serious criticism, following revelations that police have used them to access journalists’ phone records. The research focuses on the use of ‘directed surveillance’ contained in the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by police forces; a form of covert surveillance conducted in places other than residential premises or private vehicles which is deemed to …

Reaction to the Justice Secretary’s remarks on social media prosecutions

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

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The Justice Secretary should be focusing his efforts on incidents where real harm may be caused, not casting the net wider for anything that could be deemed offensive. “The Crown Prosecution Service and the police have completely failed to properly use the existing harassment law, which itself would address the actions of anyone who poses a serious threat. “The victims of serious abuse online, or indeed offline, do not need headline grabbing …

Join the Big Brother Watch Team

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We are looking for an ambitious intern to join our team to assist with research projects, social media outreach and event management. This role is flexible; however we would ideally like the candidate to be able to work at least 2 days a week. Full details of the role can be found here (PDF) The ideal candidate will: Be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet research and web content management. Be able to work under pressure and be part of …

More than 120,000 requests for communications data by police forces

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 6 Comments

It appears that the press have finally started to understand the intrusive nature of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, for both innocent members of the public and journalists. As part of our written evidence submitted to the Joint Committee on Draft Communications Data Bill in 2012, we submitted figures obtained through he Freedom of Information Act, highlighting police forces’ use of RIPA to access communications data for the period 2009-12. The figures highlighted that there were more than 120,000 …

Reaction to the police snooping probe

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

Sir Paul Kennedy, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, has launched an inquiry into potential misuse of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) following reports forces have used the legislation to access reporters’ telephone and email records. Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The Government needs to urgently address the fact that the Interception of Communications Commissioner has warned that spying powers are being over-used by some police forces. Quite simply, if the police can’t get it right …

A short analysis of the Home Secretary’s speech to the 2014 Conservative Party Conference

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 5 Comments

The Home Secretary gave her speech to the Conservative Party Conference today, focusing on a number of counter-terrorism measures. Here we dissect the key points: 1) Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, or TPIMs, will be strengthened TPIMs have not proven to be an improvement on control orders and have been attacked by figures on both sides of the debate. It is our belief that the current system and proposed new measures fail to facilitate the prosecution or conviction of suspected …

Big Brother Watch reaction to the Home Secretary’s proposals for Extremist Disruption Orders.

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Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The fact that these Extremist Disruption Orders won’t only apply to potential terrorists, but simply to those who present a threat to public disorder, clearly highlights that this policy is the thin end of the edge. “We were told that the National Extremist Database would contain details of those who posed a nations security, yet we know members of the public who have done little more than organise meetings on environmental issues …

Reaction to the Shadow Home Secretary’s Speech to Labour Party Conference

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Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Yvette Coopers speech to the Labour Party Conference was a missed opportunity for Labour to show themselves as having a concrete plan of how they will balance twenty first century security problems with UK citizens’ liberties. “Over the summer the three party leaders pushed through legislation which extended the states power to monitor its citizens. A clear statement from the Shadow Home Secretary affirming her commitment to the ‘safeguards’ has since been …

Reaction to the new Special Envoy on intelligence and law enforcement data sharing

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Big Brother Watch reaction to the announcement that Sir Nigel Sheinwald has been appointed Special Envoy on intelligence and law enforcement data sharing https://www.gov.uk/government/news/sir-nigel-sheinwald-appointed-special-envoy-on-intelligence-and-law-enforcement-data-sharing Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This is a positive move towards improving how surveillance legislation is created and enforced by governments around the world. However, considering we are yet to have a comprehensive, independent review of the existing surveillance legislation within the UK, the creation of the role seems premature. “There is a …

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