Tim Farron MP Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland & Lonsdale
Tim Farron replied to an email from a constituent taking part in the Don't Spy On Us campaign This is his reply.
Thank you very much for your recent email with regard to proper protection from unjustified interference with your right to individual privacy according to the following principles: -
1. NO SURVEILLANCE WITHOUT SUSPICION
2. TRANSPARENT LAWS, NOT SECRET LAWS
3. JUDICIAL NOT POLITICAL AUTHORISATION
4. EFFECTIVE DEMOCRATIC OVERSIGHT
5. THE RIGHT TO REDRESS
6. A SECURE WEB FOR ALL
I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Home Secretary to urge her to accept the fundamental statutory entitlement to the protection of these six principles.
Furthermore I shall be proposing the following Motion to our Conference in York next month: - 1. The annual release of Government Transparency Reports which publish, as a minimum, the annual number of user data requests made by law enforcement, the intelligence agencies, and other authorities, broken down by requesting authority, success rates, types of data requested and category of crime or event being investigated.
2. The establishment of a commission of experts to review state surveillance and all recent allegations from the Edward Snowden leaks, with specific scope to:
a) Scrutinise relevant legislation including the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.
b) Assess the implications for privacy and internet freedoms of Project
Tempora and other programmes revealed by the Snowden leaks, and consider alternatives to the bulk collection of data.
c) Review powers, scope, appointment and resources of oversight
committees, commissioners and tribunals.
d) Consider the use of judicial involvement and approval for
surveillance and for access to communications data and metadata likely to reveal sensitive personal data.
e) Publish its findings and recommendations.
3. The Government to define and enshrine the digital rights of the citizen to protect from overreach by the state, through:
a) Ensuring that powers of surveillance, accessing data, and accessing
new technologies are not extended without Parliamentary approval.
b) Ensuring that government does not undertake the bulk collection of
data and only accesses the metadata or content of communications of an individual if there is suspicion of involvement in unlawful activity.
c) Ensuring that oversight of government surveillance is independent,
informed, transparent and adequate.
d) Supporting a prompt, lawful and transparent framework for data
requests across jurisdictions and between governments.
4. The Government to accelerate and expand the midata project, to grant citizens access to all their data in an open digital format, regardless of which business holds that data, by using powers under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
I trust that this will re-assure you of the firm Liberal Democrat commitment to uphold the first principle of public protection from unjustifiable state intrusion.
With best wishes
TIM FARRON MP
Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006
- That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.