Event Date: 10 December 2013
National Union of Journalists
308-312 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8DP
PANEL DISCUSSION ON
State Surveillance, Counter-Terror Powers and Global Securitisation Strategies
‘National security’ has been the common rationale for special counter-terror measures and mass state surveillance. State methods include: undercover agents, interrogation under Schedule 7, informers and electronic surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ. These practices systematically breach the right to privacy of one’s correspondence. Recent revelations about pervasive, mass electronic surveillance have provoked public debate on such practices and their political rationale.
These measures have especially targeted migrant communities, Muslims and political activists. Counter-terror powers also impose various punishments without trial, e.g. 28-day pre-charge detention, freeze on bank accounts, travel restrictions, even revocation of citizenship.
Such extreme powers are not needed to protect the public. Rather, they are used to intimidate, disorganise and stigmatise opposition to state agendas for global domination and permanent war. Through a securitisation process, potentially all societal conflicts are portrayed as threats of disorder or of enemies. Threats – terrorism, extremism and suspicious behaviour – are defined so broadly as to target potentially anyone. Supposedly to protect us from such threats, ‘security measures’ are becoming all-pervasive, turning us all into suspects.
Welcome by Michelle Stanistreet (General Secretary, National Union of Journalists (NUJ):
Introduction and Chair: Kat Craig (Reprieve, Legal Director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism (ACT) and Vice-Chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers):
Tony Bunyan (Director, Statewatch, journalist and author the The Shape of things to Come):
Rob Evans (Guardian journalist and co-author with Paul Lewis of Undercover: the True Story of Britain’s Secret Police):
Matthew Ryder QC (Matrix Chambers, representing David Miranda):
Dr Nafeez Ahmed (author, international security scholar, environment writer for The Guardian; latest book, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization And How to Save It.):
Les Levidow (CAMPACC):