Friday, 5 August 2016

This Blog Gets Results

If you are one of the thousands people who arrived at this blog because you typed a phrase in to a search engine and it just happened to bring you here, you could be forgiven for initially thinking this blog is just a bit of a benign vehicle for the author to vent his frustrations with Police Scotland and the Crown office (and a few others).

Regular readers however know that this blog is more than that.

Much, much more than that.

This blog gets results.

It changes peoples attitudes. It informs members of the public who have never been involved with the justice system what's really happening in the incestuously connected echelons of power. It exposes the corruption in our public organisations and gives a voice to those who do not have a voice.

And most importantly, it achieves change.

The latest success - I am delighted to report today - is that I, my army of readers, and thousands like us, have been able to help Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette, to persuade the UK Government to scrap their plans to water down the Freedom of Information Act.

And it has been achieved with only 43,085 signatures.

That's what I call a success!

But the struggle doesn't end there.

You could say that this is only the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

There is still a lot more work to be done.

Next, in order to encourage members of the public to step forward with their stories of corruption and wrongdoing - and to help us ensure their safety when they do come to us - we must put a halt to journalists, bloggers, and whistleblowers being put under state surveillance.

Journalistic sources and resources MUST be protected.

I wrote a couple of days ago about the Investigatory Powers Bill (commonly known as the snooper's charter) which is currently going through Parliament.

We urgently need it to be amended and we need you to help.

It's very important.

We are asking that it be amended so that the police must apply to a judge for an order to obtain journalistic material such as notebooks or video footage. At the moment, the state can secretly open up encrypted mobile devices, see our communications records (who called who, when and where), and turn a reporters mobile phone into a tool of surveillance.

Sources would be put at risk and journalists could be put in danger by being seen as proxy agents of the state.

All we are asking is that the same protection for journalistic activities, information and sources should apply in the digital world in the same way it does in the physical world and that the Investigatory Powers Bill be amended to include this.

Put simply, if the state want to use their surveillance powers to snoop in to a journalists activities, then it should be decided by a judge.

If you agree, please consider signing the petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-protect-journalistic-sources-from-state-surveillance