January 15, 2015 | Ruth Coustick-Deal

Join today and vote for digital rights

Help ORG fight mass surveillance this election year.


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We don't protect our civil liberties by attacking them.

Last week our Prime Minister marched in Paris in the name of freedom of speech and civil liberties in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

This week he seeks to chill that right by announcing that a Conservative government would try to make sure that security service have the ability to read any communications. This could mean giving GCHQ and police bodies the ability to break into encrypted messages, or having access to back doors.

He said: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which... we cannot read?”

Our answer is yes.

Surveillance harms the free speech he claims to defend.

It makes us cautious about what we say. Any time you hesitate over a web search, or a phrase you were typing thinking 'how will this look to the spooks?', your speech is being changed and damaged.

It cannot be compulsory for us to record every conversation, online or offline.

And these plans to undermine encryption will have consequences for everyone's security; our private messages, banking and shopping will all be more vulnerable to criminal attacks.

We had some great achievements for digital rights, but 2014 was a scary time for privacy. The Government fought back against any criticism that the Snowden revelations swung their way and passed DRIPA, an Act that weakened our rights and dismissed a powerful court decision that mass data retention is illegal. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes, politicians are now talking about further chilling our free speech and privacy and introducing measures which attack the concept of human rights.

But we can change all that. That's why we're launching this join campaign.

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At the 2015 General Election we all have the power to influence the future. It's a moment of urgency, but also an opportunity to put the pressure on like never before to make the next Government protect our rights online.

The parties are making surveillance an issue which defines their values. As they launch their election campaigns, we need to launch ours soon and change the story.

If you join us we can keep running campaigns that make a difference!

Our target: 300 new supporters

ORG is one of the leading UK voices against mass surveillance. We've been speaking with politicians from all parties, discussing their security policies. Thanks to our campaigning the Liberal Democrats voted to put a Digital Bill of Rights in their manifesto. Together we stopped the Snoopers' Charter, and we will always be commited to protecting people from threats to their right to privacy.

There's so much more we can do before this election. With 300 new supporters we can:

  • Build a tool together which tells you where your local candidates stand on privacy and surveillance.
  • Run local hustings across Britain, together with other NGOs and charities to make sure you can ask your candidates tough questions on civil liberties.
  • Take part in a Don’t Spy on Us bus tour around the country to engage voters on surveillance.
  • Hold meetings with candidates to put digital rights in the minds of new MPs.
  • Create question cards and guides so that you feel confident talking to your candidates about these issues.

In this critical election year we need you more than ever, so that all our rights are defended here in the UK.

Can you make it your resolution to commit to £5/month to support our election campaigning?
www.openrightsgroup.org/join

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