Lib Dems call for targeted surveillance not Big Brother

September 17, 2016 12:57 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that the Government end indiscriminate mass surveillance, scrap the failed "Prevent" strategy and introduce a more targeted and effective counter-terrorism policy.

Surveilance cameraBased on a detailed policy paper headed up by former Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick, the party's Autumn Conference motion proposes:

  • Ending the mass collection of people's communications data and opposing Government proposals that would see records of everyone's internet history kept for a year
  • Scrapping the failed 'Prevent' strategy and replacing it with a more localised and community-focused counter-extremism policy
  • Introducing targeted surveillance of specific individuals who are suspected of wrongdoing and of communications data between the UK and terrorism hotspots overseas
  • Abolishing the secretive National Extremism Database which includes innocent political protesters and ensuring all police databases are underpinned by UK law

After the motion passed, our Home Affairs spokesperson in the Lords, Brian Paddick had this to say:

Monitoring people's everyday communications is not just a gross invasion of privacy, it simply does not make us any safer against the likes of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Collecting endless amounts of data on people's emails, text messages and calls is a waste of precious time and resources and leaves each of us vulnerable to hacks by malicious individuals or rogue states.

Every pound the government spends on storing the photos from your family holiday is a pound taken away from your local police.

We need a counter-terrorism policy that keeps the public safe and keeps the government in check, through targeted surveillance and proper judicial oversight.

The full policy paper, Safe and Free, can be found here.

The motion, as passed by conference can be found here.