Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, has launched its latest ideas paper, Digital Rights Are Civil Rights.
It highlights the Edward Snowden revelations about the extent of government agencies’ surveillance, and comes as a new poll for the Scottish Greens shows public concern about the recording abilities of modern gadgets.
In a poll of over 1,000 Scots by Survation, over 70 per cent said there should be restrictions on people using gadgets for recording in public where others don’t know they are being recorded.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and E-Politician of the Year, said:
“Our digital age is an exciting one with challenges and opportunities. With the responsibilities of an independent country Scotland could use technology to improve access to education and employment, while also taking a leading role in protecting people’s privacy.
“The active surveillance of innocent citizens highlighted by Edward Snowden shows Governments need both the political will and the technical ability to protect their citizens, and the UK Government appears to lack both.
“The current Scottish Government proposes to create a single intelligence and security agency for Scotland, and the legislation to create this agency must establish clear limits on its power, as well as meaningful democratic oversight. A Yes vote gives us an opportunity to establish those limits and that oversight.”
The ideas put forward in the Green Yes digital rights paper include:
-A Digital Bill of Rights
-A Scottish communications regulator
-Democratic control of intelligence functions
-A public forum for debate about the future of society and technology
Survation poll asked 1,006 Scots between 4 and 7 April:
Over the next few years wearable gadgets are expected to become more common, making it possible for people to make video and audio recordings of all their day to day experiences. Some people say this is a valuable technological innovation that will enable people to take photos and make videos more easily and conveniently, improving on existing technology such as smartphones. Other people say this technology could be abused and make it possible to film or record people without them knowing, violating their privacy.
Which of the following statements do you agree with:
-People should be free to use gadgets with video / audio recording in public, regardless of whether others know they are being recorded (17.7 per cent agreed)
-Use of gadgets with video / audio recording in public should be restricted where others don’t know they are being recorded (70.8 per cent agreed)
-Don’t know (11.5 per cent)