1.1 Focusing on privacy, we address the inquiry’s questions on cultural factors in ensuring that human rights are respected.
1.2 We show how British journalism does a poor job in promoting the right to privacy, especially given its demonstrable preference for a counter-narrative promoted by the intelligence elite on the importance of surveillance for national security. To explain this, we draw on published academic work on the 2013 leaks by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden, on mass surveillance.
1.3 We recommend that:
- Journalists should be encouraged to reject a simplistic binary narrative of surveillance
versus privacy: there are many shades of complexity within these issues.
- Journalists should not automatically privilege intelligence elite sources (especially
intelligence agencies and their political mouthpieces) but should give more prominence to those pointing out the human rights implications of security practices.