Government can’t demand more surveillance powers without giving answers on drone strikes

October 7, 2014

In an interview with today’s Guardian focusing on surveillance powers, the head of the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said that “the public [needs to] consent to losing some freedoms in return for greater safety and security.”  Commenting, Reprieve legal director Kat Craig said:

“It seems wrong-headed to be demanding yet more powers for the most secretive parts of our state when we have yet to see proper oversight and accountability put in place. State surveillance is not just about snooping on your emails or Facebook profile. Because of our close intelligence-sharing relationship with the US,  providing data has in the past led to  killing-by-drone of people who are considered ‘threats’ but have never stood trial.  It is unthinkable that the Government should be given more surveillance powers before it has provided answers on the part it plays, through the sharing of such data, in the illegal US drone programme which has killed hundreds of civilians.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166