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1 November 2013

Mass Surveillance: the debate in Britain must not be silenced

Jemima Khan, Henry Porter and William Sieghart invite you to an event on 4 November 2013 at 6.45pm.

By New Statesman

Revelations about mass surveillance operations by the NSA and GCHQ have caused outrage in Europe, South America and the United States. There have been demonstrations and angry interventions by heads of state, and even President Obama concedes that a debate needs to happen. But in Britain protest and discussion are very close to being silenced. The Guardian newspaper, which led the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel in publishing material from the NSA leaks, is almost alone in believing that mass civilian surveillance is a matter of vital public interest. And now the British government, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, the intelligence agencies and even some sections of the media seek to isolate the Guardian and shut down the debate with claims that these disclosures aid terrorists and put national security at risk. This must not be allowed to happen.

This independently organised meeting at RIBA, on 4 November, is called to support the Guardian’s reporting and to assert the right to a full national debate, involving all parties, about surveillance powers and the need to ensure that the intelligence services work within the rule of law and are subject to genuine Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight. That is the only way for a democracy to react to revelations that affect everyone’s liberty. 

The event will be held at:

RIBA, 66 Portland Place
London W1B 1AD

On: Monday 4 November 2013, 6.45pm – 9pm

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Confirmed speakers:

Alan Rusbridger, in conversation with William Sieghart
David Davis MP
Sir Simon Jenkins
Jo Glanville of PEN
Tom Watson MP

RSVP: surveillanceevent@gmail.com

Supporters include: Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford University and author of The File), Anthony Barnett (Cofounder Charter 88 and openDemocracy), Rory Bremner (Writer and performer), John le Carré (Author), David Davis (Conservative MP), Brian Eno (Musician and producer), Stephen Frears (Director), Alex Graham (Founder and CEO, Wall to Wall TV), Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (Lawyer and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford), Peter Kosminsky (TV director and governor of BFI), Simon McBurney (Founder and artistic director, Theatre Complicite), Suzanne Moore (Columnist), Lord Pannick QC (Leading public law and human rights lawyer),
Dr Elaine Potter (David and Elaine Potter Foundation), Philip Pullman (Writer), Richard Rogers (Architect), Ruthie Rogers (Chef), Philippe Sands QC (Leading human rights lawyer), Juliet Stevenson (Actor, writer and director), Neil Tennant (Singer-songwriter), Jimmy Wales (Founder, Wikipedia) and Sam West (Actor).

Also supported by the following organisations: Big Brother Watch, Human Rights Watch, openDemocracy, Open Rights Group, PEN, The Manifesto Club, Index on Censorship and Reprieve.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
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  • OH&S, Risk Management
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  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
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  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU