Big Brother Watch 5th Anniversary

“Congratulations to Big Brother Watch on their 5th birthday. Sadly the need for their existence is at least as great now as it was after 10 years of authoritarian Labour rule. We defeated ID cards against the odds, I look forward to us doing the same with the Snooper’s Charter.” Rt Hon David Davis MP

“Big Brother Watch welcomed me into my role as Surveillance Camera Commissioner with warm words and even warmer challenges! – always viewing emerging issues through the prism of privacy and Human Rights yet always engaging in constructive debate – excellent critical friends.”

Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Commissioner

We are delighted to share our 5th anniversary with our supporters today. We very much hope that you like the new website and find our 2015 Manifesto of interest. It includes an audit of what was promised at the 2010 General Election and what has since been delivered.

In 2009 when Big Brother Watch was launched, the surveillance state seemed out of control, CCTV was rife, ID cards were imminent and the liberty of citizens was under constant threat. None of us anticipated we would be fighting a similar battle five years on. As the Government continue to call for new and increasingly intrusive surveillance powers and technology companies are finding increasingly innovative ways to monetise their users’ data, the need for a strong voice championing privacy and civil liberties remains as necessary as ever.

Since its creation, Big Brother Watch has grown into one of the UK’s most influential campaigning organisations for civil liberties privacy. Unique research from Big Brother Watch, such as the Class of 1984, the Grim RIPA and Traffic Spies have not only made the headlines, but changed the public narrative and policy agenda.

2014 saw significant changes to the Big Brother Watch management team, with Renate Samson joining the organisation in the role of Chief Executive, Emma Carr promoted to the role of Director and Dan Nesbitt taking the role of Research Director.

“Always seek to embrace the opposition” has been my mantra. This is true of Big Brother Watch who saw me as an enemy but now as a critical friend. We all need to be alert, vigilant and mindful that freedom must breed freedom.” Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

‘Big Brother Watch has taken up the mantle of scrutinising government’s attempts to expand its arsenal of intrusive powers, and defending the liberty of the ordinary citizen. In just 5 years, it has established itself as one of the most effective campaigning teams in the country.’ Dominic Raab MP

The Manifesto

Our 2015 manifesto has analysed the successes and failures of the Coalition Government and identifies ten key areas which continue to be a threat to the public’s civil liberties, notably:

  • A more transparent surveillance regime
  • Greater protection for anonymised data and custodial sentences for misuse of data
  • The creation of a rational and proportionate approach to online censorship
  • A single code of practice for all CCTV cameras whether privately or publicly owned