Ijo Pona is the Harrogate adventure blog written by a Funny Little Man. Andy is a freelance web designer in Harrogate and he is also a well-received sound artist and runs a mastering studio in Yorkshire. The Wire Magazine once described him as "... difficult to dislike." Still at my most enthusiastic and naive.
Funny Little Man – Harrogate
Dear Andrew Jones,
First of all, please let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have gained a lot from our correspondence throughout the year. I am signing off 2017 with a final letter to you when I should be working. I work as a freelance website designer so I can give myself the luxury of fitting my work around my lifestyle.
The matter I am writing about to you today is to make a point of standing alongside Liberty and nine other leading Human Rights organisations in the European Court Of Human Rights to challenge the United Kingdom Government’s vast cross-border surveillance regime. I do not know if you are aware of proceedings in the case?
The organisations that I stand with are Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and groups from Pakistan, South Africa & Egypt — together, they are making the case that our Government’s surveillance programmes are unlawful.
The legal case centres on secret UK & US mass surveillance programmes called Tempora, Upstream and Prism — which were exposed by the famous whistleblower Edward Snowden.
All of the organisations that I stand alongside (Liberty, Amnesty International etc.) believe that their communications were spied upon by the government — which violates the right to privacy and free expression under the European Convention on Human Rights and it jeopardises the confidentiality and protection of sources so crucial to their work.
Liberty, Amnesty International et al. regularly communicate with human rights campaigners nationally and internationally. The organisations I am writing about, regularly speak to journalists, lawyers, prisoners, victims of state abuse, politicians, government officials and whistleblowers. Their emails and phone calls often contain sensitive data and privileged information. The integrity of the before mentioned body’s communications and their ability to protect their sources is crucially important to their work challenging the powerful and defending people rights.
The case I am referring to was previously heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal who revealed in 2015 that GCHQ had indeed spied on Amnesty International and South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre.
I eagerly await to hear the outcome of the ruling because this is a blatant abuse of power. Granted, people still break the law and we need to protect the law-abiding; but at what cost. A Police State? Because that is what Fortress Britannica is turning in to. This is not cricket, but, it is what I have come to expect from my Government.