Our case challenging disappearing messages is in court!

On Tuesday, All the Citizens, supported by Foxglove, will be in the London High Court to challenge the use of “disappearing message” apps like WhatsApp by government officials to conduct government business.  

You might remember that in October All the Citizens were granted permission for a full judicial review. That is now happening! And next week, there will be a full substantive hearing where the arguments and evidence of both All the Citizens and the government will be heard by a judge and considered in full over three days.

To recap, this case is challenging the use of platforms like WhatsApp and Signal by government officials for government business. These platforms allow messages to be deleted straight after they have been read. This means they could be erasing the public record of communications about Covid, the parties at number 10, the war in Ukraine and much more.

We think this is against the law. There are acts of parliament that require documents and communications to be kept. Including for example, The Public Records Act 1958 which requires communications between politicians, officials and advisors about government business to be retained for review with key ones saved for historical archives.

That’s why All the Citizens are taking the government to court. Democracy, transparency and accountability are the principles at risk, and they must be defended. We hope that the court will step in on Tuesday and ensure that we are able to continue to hold our representatives to account.

Thousands of you have been part of this case, you’ve donated to the crowdfunder, you’ve signed the petition and ultimately you’ve helped make this case possible so a big thank you.  It is not too late to make your voice heard and to sign the petition in this case.