Words Obama and Cameron will never say

Having listened carefully to representations that have been made to us by a wide range of free speech, civil liberties and commercial interests, as well as several national governments and international organizations, we are happy to announce today that we have instructed all of our security services and law enforcement bodies never again to collect data indiscriminately from the internet about people’s online activities or about people’s telephone calls. This will apply in respect of our own and other nations’ citizens.

In future the agencies’ instructions will be only to collect data of the kind referred to where officers can demonstrate probable cause indicating that specific individuals are likely to be or have been engaged in criminal activities which are contrary to the interests of our respective countries.

We have communicated our view to all other national governments in the world and to relevant international bodies confident that, if they have not done so already, they will each give binding commitments of a similar nature. 

We renounce the idea that we would ever do anything to defend or extend our national interests in any way which might conflict with these solemn undertakings. On that basis we are perfectly happy to re-state our commitment to complete transparency within an internet governance framework which fully embraces the notion of multistakeholderism.

We look forward to sitting down with representatives of Google, Microsoft, Orange, the South Devon Progressive Environmentalists, the Papua New Guinea Horticulturalists, the Tierra del Fuego Sheep Farming Association and like minded civil society organizations certain that, between us and on an entirely equal basis, we can map out a way ahead for the internet.

About John Carr

John Carr is a member of the Executive Board of the UK Council on Child Internet Safety, the British Government's principal advisory body for online safety and security for children and young people. In the summer of 2013 he was appointed as an adviser to Bangkok-based ECPAT International. Amongst other things John is or has been a Senior Expert Adviser to the United Nations, ITU, the European Union, a member of the Executive Board of the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online, Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John has advised many of the world's largest internet companies on online child safety. In June, 2012, John was appointed a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. More: http://johncarrcv.blogspot.com
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