Mass Internet surveillance is now an undisputed fact. But the Snowden revelations show that we face unaccountable indiscriminate surveillance of Internet users on a global scale. This attack on privacy has potentially devastating implications for our understanding of democracy.
But it's not just the foundations of democracy that are under attack. Recent revelations of a systematic weakening of encryption systems by US and UK security agencies undermine fundamental Internet security. These are the basics of trust on the Internet. They are the reason we trust our bank, our credit card payments or Virtual Private Networks not to leak this information to criminals, blackmailers or governments.
So what is the impact of this on democracy? How can an information economy thrive when online information might not be secure? And what can we all do about it?
• Tom Watson MP is one of the leading Labour voices on the Internet and surveillance over the last few years.
• Paul Johnson is the Deputy Editor of The Guardian who's orchestrated his paper's coverage of the Edward Snowden revelations.
• Javier Ruiz is Campaigns Director of Open Rights Group
• Nick Pickles is Director of Big Brother Watch
• Wendy Grossman (chair) is a journalist and blogger on technology and the Internet