UK court finds secret spying docs made surveillance illegal

Several human rights groups are celebrating a major victory against the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, as the UK surveillance tribunal ruled on 6 February that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) up until December 2014.

The decision marks the first time that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the only UK court empowered to oversee GCHQ, the domestic security agency MI5 and the foreign intelligence service MI6, has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its fifteen-year history. The case was only possible thanks to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden whose leaked documents provided the facts needed to challenge the long-standing intelligence sharing relationship.

Country: UK

Domains: Privacy

Stakeholder: Civil Society

Tags: human rights, privacy, unlawful, electronic communications, Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), surveillance, Snowden, whistleblowing, intelligence agencies

Posted on Wednesday 11 February 2015

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