My name’s Mark and I’m a human rights campaigner.

That’s what I got on my screen just now. The text continued as follows.

I’ve just found out I was included in a government Mis/Disinformation Report for sharing a petition from the official Parliamentary petitions website.

And it’s clear that I’m not the only one.

Big Brother Watch research has found that secretive government units have been monitoring and recording criticism of the Government on social media. Politicians, academics, campaigners, journalists and even members of the public have been subjected to monitoring by Whitehall officials, and an “information warfare machine” in the British Army. Worryingly, many of these units have a special relationship with social media companies which gives them powers to force the censorship of online speech. The government’s Counter Disinformation Unit censors and monitors dissent, not disinformation, without due process or transparency. It should be shut down.

The Counter Disinformation Unit has overstepped the mark. Whilst the public think they’re fighting disinformation from hostile foreign states, Big Brother Watch’s investigation reveals that they’re acting just like those authoritarian states by monitoring campaigners, experts, journalists and MPs who post unflattering information about them. Monitoring critics and suppressing dissent only harms our democracy.

Government units are working in the shadows to keep tabs on people like you and me.

I am very likely to be in this database too, then.

It might explain the odd behaviors I’ve gotten from UK customs officials on my most recent two returns from abroad. They clearly had information about me in a database that they looked at and one of them added information to it. The other one tauntingly held on to my passport when he reached out to give it back to me. Pretending that he was going to confiscate it?

Before I moved to the UK, I had gotten highly used to living in a democracy.

Feel free to share your opinion below, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.