SNP condemn UK Government surveillance plan

SNP Home Affairs spokesperson Pete Wishart MP has condemned UK Government plans to extend the powers of the security services to monitor the public’s email, telephone calls and social media, warning the move would impinge individuals’ privacy and be used to justify state surveillance by autocratic regimes elsewhere in the world.

Mr Wishart said:

“These intrusive plans by the Home Office are another case of Big Brother gone bonkers.

“Having learnt no lessons from Labour’s unwanted and expensive ID card fiasco, the UK government is now set on snooping through social network sites, emails and telephone calls.

“This move would not only impinge individuals’ privacy but would also be used to justify state surveillance by autocratic regimes elsewhere in the world.

“The irony is that when Labour was cooking up this policy in 2006 the Tories - who now want to put it into practice - opposed them. You can’t trust a word the anti-independence parties say.

“We are talking about sites used by tens of millions of people which contain personal information such as religious and political beliefs, and sexual orientation. These issues are no business of government bureaucrats.

“While there is a case for updating surveillance measures, with safeguards, to reflect developments in technology, this blanket surveillance goes too far.

“The UK Government’s appalling record of data security will have alarm bells ringing, and that is in itself an argument against these plans which will do nothing to improve national security."