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Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents Software companies are leaving the UK because of government’s surveillance plans

ArsTechnica - Glyn Moody - The company behind the open-source blogging platform Ghost is moving its paid-for service out of the UK because of government plans to weaken protection for privacy and freedom of expression. Ghost's founder, John O'Nolan, wrote in a blog post: "we’ve elected to move the default location for all customer data from the UK to DigitalOcean’s [Amsterdam] data centre. The Netherlands is ranked #2 in the world for Freedom of Press, and has a long history of liberal institutions, laws and funds designed to support and defend independent journalism."

O'Nolan was particularly worried by the UK government's plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, which he said enshrines key rights such as "respect for your private and family life" and "freedom of expression." The Netherlands, by contrast, has "some of the strongest privacy laws in the world, with real precedents of hosting companies successfully rejecting government requests for data without full and legal paperwork," he writes.

This is by no means the first software company to announce that it will be leaving the UK because of the government's plans to attack privacy through permanent bulk surveillance of online activities and weakened crypto. At the beginning of May, Aral Balkan revealed that he would be moving his software project out of the country: "Following the election of a Tory government with a mandate to further mass surveillance, we’re leaving the UK to avoid the possibility of having to add backdoors to our products at" Like O'Nolan, Balkan cited the abolition of the Human Rights Act as one reason for his decision, as well as plans to introduce the Snooper's Charter and backdoors in messaging applications.