Though it is not a coincidence that Privacy Scotland forms during a general time in which the vast encroachment on the right to privacy in Scotland via UK foreign and defence policy has been revealed, it is a coincidence that the application to become a registered Scottish charity was approved and the website then established just as debate begins on the new, unexpected Conservative majority government's forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill, a bill Downing Street has described, deceitfully and euphemistically, as giving authorities "the tools to keep you and your family safe."
Make no mistake: Privacy Scotland resists all attempts to characterise this power-grab of the UK government as more or less than it actually is: the creation of a legalised mass surveillance state in which the web and social media traffic of individuals who have not been charged with a crime or served a search warrant are tracked, and the content of communications across the UK are intercepted in bulk.
Privacy Scotland will do everything in its power to thwart this bill not just on the grounds that it violates the basic human right to privacy that all are entitled to but also because the Conservative government has not been given a mandate to take these steps to reduce the civil liberties of the Scottish people. We will attempt to mobilise the Scottish MPs to join other privacy-minded members of Parliament against it and hope to prevent its passage in full.
David Cameron showed his hand when, days after his electoral victory in England, he said, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'."
Scotland must demand its right to be left alone.