Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, is highlighting the challenge Scotland faces to oppose the mass surveillance of ordinary citizens by UK Government agencies.

During General Questions at Holyrood today (19 June) Mr Harvie questioned Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, pointing to recent revelations about the interception of online messages.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"It's clear that the UK security services are no longer content to monitor the communications of those who pose a genuine security threat - they are in fact keeping the entire population under routine mass surveillance.

"We have an opportunity this September to take responsibility for security, and protect the rights of innocent citizens by ending these uncontrolled and deeply invasive practices. The Justice Secretary gave a clear commitment to the principle of opposing mass surveillance but the challenge will be living up to that aim, especially given the nature of our communications infrastructure.

"Our citizens have the right to know their privacy isn't being threatened by their own state or any other. But if the Scottish Government intends to co-operate with the UK on security issues, we need to ask whether we can really trust the UK Government not to spy on Scottish citizens in future, if it can't even be trusted not to spy on UK citizens today."


Social media mass surveillance is permitted by law, says top UK official (Guardian)

Vodafone reveals existence of secret wires that allow state surveillance (Guardian)