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Open Rights Group wants Parliamentary investigation into UK PRISM

Shock and law
Fri Jun 07 2013, 14:53

FREEDOM FIGHTERS at the Open Rights Group (ORG) have asked for a parliamentary enquiry into whether the UK is involved in the US National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM programme.

PRISM is the programme George Orwell warned us about. It apparently is an agreement between government and business that essentially means that no one's privacy is protected from the peering eyes of government spooks, spycatchers and law enforcement.

Loz Kaye, leader of the UK Pirate Party called it the US version of the Snoopers' Charter, adding that it was unlikely to make any citizen feel safe.

"Given that this has been going on since 2007 and the US Government is still calling for more powers in this area, it is clear that there is no point where data collection is enough for some governments. The UK's obsession with the Snoopers' Charter and technical measures to be handled by GCHQ shows a similar trend at home," he said.

"These kinds of systems do not make us safer, but they do have a severe impact on our freedoms. When abused they pose a grave danger to the very democratic societies they are supposed to defend."

The Open Rights Group has also brought the debate closer to home and has asked for a parliamentary investigation into how much the UK government knew about PRISM, and whether it is part of its surveillance network.

"Companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo need to answer to Parliament as to what data about UK citizens may have been included in the PRISM programme," said ORG executive director Jim Killock.

"The investigation should also ask questions of representatives of the UK Government and the intelligence agencies to bring transparency to clear up whether they had any involvement in the PRISM."

Killock said that the government has six questions that it must answer about PRISM, starting with, "What did the UK Government know about the PRISM programme?" and including, "Would the Government advise that UK citizens, businesses and MPs stop using services provided by American web companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft?" µ


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