Scottish PEN calls for greater protections of privacy and freedom of expression inside the Snooper’s Charter.
To find out more about this campaign or see how you can take part, please contact Nik Williams at email@example.com.
This bill was introduced in 2015 by then-Home Secretary, Theresa May to modernise and consolidate surveillance legislation in the UK. Scottish PEN has been highly critical of the bill from day one and core concerns remain as to its impact on our fundamental freedoms including free expression and the right to privacy.
The bill’s powers include:
Scottish PEN submitted written evidence to Parliament, read below:
We are campaigning for increased public involvement in this bill and calling for the bill to be brought in line with human rights protections before the bill is made law by the end of 2016.
Wigtown Book Festival celebrates the power of the written word but Scottish PEN is deeply concerned about how unwarranted and suspicionless surveillance can undermine the ability of novelists, poets and playwrights to express themselves free from coercion or duress.
While the government made a number of concessions to strengthen privacy protections, Scottish PEN does not believe these reforms go far enough to fully protect free expression and privacy.
The SNP’s amendment to ensure that meaningful judicial oversight extends to Scotland, instead of the ministerial mechanism currently in place, is a vital amendment that Scottish organisations, commentators and policy-makers should get behind.
As an organisation charged with representing writers to ensure the fundamental freedoms to write, read and share thoughts, there are a number of aspects of the Investigatory Powers Bill that could threaten these freedoms were they to be made into law.