16:16 GMT26 February 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    0 64

    Michelle Stainstreet, the head of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), called the new UK surveillance bill "an attack on democracy and the public’s right to knows."

    EDINBURGH (Sputnik) – The "draconian" bill to give the UK government more surveillance powers runs counter to the country’s democratic values, Michelle Stainstreet, the head of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), told Sputnik on Friday.

    "The NUJ has campaigned hard to oppose this unjustified and draconian legislation. The secret surveillance of journalists, whistleblowers and sources is an attack on democracy and the public’s right to know," Stainstreet said.

    The House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament, passed the Investigatory Powers Bill earlier in the day after it was cleared by the lower chamber, the House of Commons. The draft law, dubbed the "Snooper’s Charter," will force Internet companies to retain user details for 12 months, raising serious concerns about privacy from civil liberty groups.

    "The fight doesn’t stop here, we will continue to stick to our ethical principles to protect journalistic sources and seek to challenge this new law in every way that is possible," Stainstreet assured Sputnik.

    Apart from data retention, the legislation will give the government wide-ranging powers to spy on its citizens and requires mobile phone companies to keep their devices less secure so that the government’s security agency, GCHQ, can more easily listen into users’ calls and messages.


    To Spy or Not to Spy? UK House of Lords Passes Controversial 'Snooper's Charter'
    May's Snooper's Charter Takes a Hit as ECJ Rejects Widespread Surveillance
    UK's Bristol Police Suspected of Possessing Cell Phone Surveillance Devices
    Human Rights Groups Challenge UK, US Mass Surveillance at ECHR - Press Release
    surveillance bill, Michelle Stainstreet, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion