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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Human Rights Award Won for campaign against Government Snooping by 38 Degrees



The pressure group 38 Degrees has won an award  the 'Human Rights Campaigner of the Year Award'. The award is for the campaigning work 38 Degrees members have done so far to stop government snooping.

The right of the individual to freedom of thought and privacy  is central to respect for the Basic Rights of all Humans. Any Government  which can  use  totalitarian tools to control the population  can cover-up their crimes with impunity by  persecuting  those who oppose them. Congratulations 38 Degrees on stemming the tide of totalitarianism.

Under proposed legislation, the UK government would be enabled to monitor the communications data of everyone in the country, not merely individuals under investigation. 

   Marie Campbell of 38degree said

"The award was given by Liberty, the civil rights organisation, and 38 Degrees shared it with Open Rights Group, a not-for-profit organisation who are experts in campaigning for people’s rights and freedoms on the internet. [1]

190,000 38 Degrees members who signed the petition calling for the government to stop its plans to invade our privacy online. Together, we also sent nearly 20,000 messages to the Committee examining the government’s plans, and thousands of emails to MPs at key moments. [2]

And the campaign hasn’t just been on the internet. From Dundee to Penzance, 38 Degrees members met up in their local areas to hand the petition directly to their own MPs and explain why politicians need to stand up for our freedoms. [3]

It’s fantastic to win an award for what we’ve achieved together so far - but there’s a long way to go. Right now, an official committee of MPs is preparing a report that could derail the government’s plans. [4]

If the report says the government’s plans are flawed, it would make it hard for the government to push ahead. It could be the biggest moment in the campaign so far, a major chance to push the government to bin the idea altogether.

So that’s the latest news in the campaign against government snooping. It’s a great moment for us all to give ourselves a pat on the back. And if it’s okay, could we also say a bit about how 38 Degrees keeps campaigns like this going?

38 Degrees campaigns don’t cost a lot to run, but they aren’t free. Funding can be a problem for organisations like us. We want to be independent, and we want to continue to stand up to the rich and powerful - so we’ll never take money from big business or government.

There are currently around 2,000 38 Degrees members who give a small regular donation of £2 or £3 a week. [5] That makes all the difference to our day-to-day running and helps us build up powerful campaigns that win.

But we need more people to join in because the biggest moments in this award-winning campaign to protect our freedoms lie ahead. Can you chip in with a small regular donation to make sure we’re ready?

PS: Over the next two weeks, Open Rights Group are holding training sessions across the country to get people clued up about government snooping and what they can do to help. If you live in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Bristol, Newcastle, Sheffield, Brighton, Manchester or Birmingham, why not go along? Click here to find out when and where the sessions will happen: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/2012/stop-snoopers-charter-local



NOTES
[1] The awards were organised by the civil rights group Liberty to highlight the work of individuals and organisations who promote and protect human rights. You can read more about the Liberty Human Rights Awards and the other winners here: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/media/press/2012/liberty-honours-inspirational-human-rights-leaders-in-an.php
[2] 38 Degrees website: Stop Government Snooping petition https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/stop-government-snooping
38 Degrees blog: "Snooping - our voices have been heard" http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/09/12/snooping-our-voices-have-been-heard/
[3] 38 Degrees blog: Snooping - campaign update http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/11/21/snooping-campaign-update/
[4] Guardian: MPs call communications data bill 'honeypot for hackers and criminals' http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/31/communications-data-bill-honeypot-hackers-criminals
[5] 38 Degrees is an independent not-for profit organisation that relies on donations from individuals to help pay for the technology, the research, the equipment and the small office we need to organise campaigns. We’re committed to transparency and accountability so you can read our donations policy and download our most recent audited accounts here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/pages/donations-to-38-degrees

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