Freedom not fear

William has kindly brought the forthcoming Freedom not Fear protest day to my attention. As the site says:

“Surveillance mania is spreading. Governments and businesses register, monitor and control our behaviour ever more thoroughly. No matter what we do, who we phone and talk to, where we go, whom we are friends with, what our interests are, which groups we participate in – «big brother» government and «little brothers» in business know it more and more thoroughly.

“The resulting lack of privacy and confidentiality is putting at risk the freedom of confession, the freedom of speech as well as the work of doctors, helplines, lawyers and journalists.”

The protest has a range of demands, including:

  • abolish the blanket logging of our communications and locations (data retention)
  • abolish the blanket collection of our biometric data as well as RFID passports
  • abolish the blanket collection of genetic data
  • abolish permanent CCTV camera surveillance and automatic detection techniques
  • scrap funding for the development of new surveillance techniques
  • no blanket registration of all air travellers (PNR data)
  • no information exchange with the US and other states lacking effective data protection
  • no secret searches of private computer systems, neither online nor offline
  • no blanket surveillance and filtering of internet communications (EU Telecoms-Package)

A commendable set of demands, and one that won’t sit comfortably with current UK government policy.

The London protest – which like the other cities is planned as a peaceful event – will meet at New Scotland Yard at 1pm on 11 October – further details are available here.