Snoopers’ Charter

Just a short one – I finished my time in Okinawa on 31st March and have since made my triumphant return to the UK. Things have been remarkably hectic since then – I’ve been job hunting, house hunting, and everyone I know seems to be getting married and having stag parties. All fun and games, but my productivity has taken a serious hit… at some point I’ll get round to posting more neuroscience stuff. Possibly.

Before then, the Snoopers’ Charter is back in the news after the recent Tory election victory, with Theresa May yearning to gorge herself on our beautiful, private data. I wrote to my MP Steve Brine, though his parliamentary voting record goes against pretty much all of my opinions, so I don’t have much hope that I’ll make any difference. I can but try. You should too, it’s pretty easy: just follow this link, enter your postcode and mash your face into your keyboard for a few minutes. Here’s the text of my message:

Dear Mr. Brine,

Judging by your voting record we disagree on many issues, but I hope we can find some common ground here. I am extremely concerned about the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill (aka Snoopers’ Charter). It appears to be a gross breach of civil liberties and an attack on our Article 8 right to privacy. This goes against the traditional Conservative stance against government overreach and conservative values of individual liberty, effectively making everyone a suspected criminal.

On a more practical note, I am unconvinced by Theresa May’s arguments that the mass collection  of our data is in any way necessary for our security, especially given the large cost of implementing such a system. The government did not make a compelling case for this when the original legislation was proposed a few years ago, and nothing has changed since then.

I urge you against support of the Charter in any form it might take, and ask that you clarify your own position on the issue.

If you would like further information on the Snoopers’ Charter, please visit

Yours sincerely,

Dr Richard Tomsett