Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, July 13, 2015

Outrageous: UK spied on Amnesty International. We need answers.

We just learned the
UK illegally spied
on Amnesty International
Dear Tracy,

Last Wednesday, London experienced its hottest July day in recorded history. But in Amnesty International's London office, the mercury wasn't rising from the heat alone. My colleagues in London were outraged at learning this:

British intelligence had been spying on Amnesty International.

The news came in an email from a secretive UK court called the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Why had our communications been under surveillance? Is it still happening? They didn't say.

While the words "British intelligence" might bring to mind images of James Bond, cheesy villains and elaborate chase scenes for some, my mind immediately went to the troves of information that spy agencies around the world share with one another. What had the UK done with our confidential emails and other information? My head spun with questions about what this could mean for our work to protect human rights:
  • We interview witnesses of human rights abuses, lone survivors of atrocities - sources who need us to protect their identities. What if the UK shared our confidential work with governments that could use it to retaliate against human rights defenders, dissidents and communities at risk?
  • What if the UK shared our emails and information with the US government? From what I know, this seems likely. Does it mean the US had a heads up on our reports about US drone strikes, Guantanamo and secret detention - and ample opportunity to cover its tracks?
Join us in demanding answers and dismantling this surveillance state.

We all have a right to privacy, a right to be left alone as we go about our lives. If the government has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, it can intrude on our private lives to the extent necessary. But in the absence of that or similar grounds, our lives are our own.

The U.S. and other governments have turned that privacy right upside down, vacuuming up the most intimate details of our lives through indiscriminate mass surveillance of our communications. This surveillance state has developed especially since 9/11, fed by billions of dollars and run by thousands of government agencies and contractors operating with little accountability.

You can join us in the fight to reclaim privacy. Tell President Obama: No more mass surveillance.

In solidarity,

Naureen Shah
Director, Security with Human Rights
Amnesty International USA


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